Now that that the year is halfway through, your calendar may be reminding you that it’s time for your routine dental checkup.
For most of us, these visits are simple and quick, but for those who suffer from dental anxiety a trip to the dentist can be a scary endeavor, or simply put off – sometimes forever.
Although you might feel like you’re the only person on earth who dreads a dentist appointment, you’re definitely not. In fact, a large percentage of people feel exactly the same way you do about going to the dentist. The University of Adelaide estimates that one in six Australian adults and about one in ten children suffer from dental anxiety!
But we also understand that knowing you have company may not relieve your anxiety. We also know that ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away. Quite the opposite, actually. Problems don’t go away on their own. Problems oftentimes just get worse and worse until you have no choice but to treat them, or lose your teeth and health.
Today’s blog talks about how dental anxiety can actually threaten your smile if you’re not careful. So stick around, because United Smiles is about to offer you solutions to overcoming dental anxiety.
Symptoms of Dental Anxiety
Symptoms can include:
- Trouble sleeping the night before the dental exam
- Nervousness that escalates while in the dental office waiting room
- Crying or feeling physically ill at the very thought of visiting the dentist
- Intense uneasiness at the thought of, or actually when, objects are placed in your mouth during the dental treatment or suddenly feeling like it is difficult to breathe
Fortunately, there are ways to get people with dental anxiety to the dentist and treated!
What Causes Dental Anxiety?
Why are people scared of dentists? There can be a lot of reasons. Here are the five most common we’ve seen at United Smiles office.
A bad early dental experience -Many people with dental phobia have long held fears, dating back to an unpleasant episode they had with a dentist. Some people choose to avoid going to the dentist altogether rather than to face those fears.
Pre-existing anxiety disorder – for some people, an unrelated anxiety disorder may cause their dental anxiety. They may feel anxious about the unknown, and not knowing what to expect at the dentist’s office can increase those feelings of nervousness.
Lack of control – Some people feel vulnerable when they are sitting in the dentist chair. They don’t like lying back, with another person’s fingers and tools in their mouths, and not being able to see what is going on around them.
Bad Current Dental Condition– Dental anxiety can turn into a negative feedback loop. You might avoid dentists because you worry you have cavities. But if you do not go to the dentist and get your teeth cleaned, the chances a cavity or other dental complication increases. As this cycle continues, dental health deteriorates and anxiety increases.
Biological mechanisms – Humans don’t like to have things block their breathing! We are biologically built to guard these areas and keep them private.
There are other causes, of course, but the best way to deal with them is to overcome them!
Two Tips To Overcome Dental Anxiety
Understand It – One of the first things you can try is to think about why you’re feeling anxious about going to the dentist. When you can understand the problem, you’re better able to come up with solutions. Try to isolate and identify why you are anxious, and then think of ways to deal with it such as distraction, meditation, better communication with your dentist, etc.
It Helps To Talk About It – A simple conversation with someone could help you move forward. It’s best to talk to someone who doesn’t fear the dentist because they might be able to offer some perspective a bit better than someone who will just commiserate with you without being able to give you any helpful tips or advice.
Consider Sleep Dentistry!
At United Smiles, our sleep dentistry methods provide patients with a more relaxed and pleasant dental experience.
Sleep dentistry is the use of anaesthesia during treatment to put the patient into a relaxed state, creating a calm experience using sedatives such as depressants, tranquilisers, or anti-anxiety drugs, which are administered before any dental procedure.
In addition, our doctors and staff are ready to listen to your concerns and understand your apprehensions. By simple and genuine communication, we hope to overcome your discomforts and anxieties about dentistry.
Keep Your Smile Healthy and Attractive with United Smiles!
United Smiles is conveniently located in the heart of Mernda Village, serving patients from all Melbourne areas. Our office has ample parking at the rear of the building. Wheelchair access is also available at the front of the building.
Our Special Offers
Our goal is to make quality dental care affordable. We encourage you to take advantage of our latest offers. To find out more, visit our special offers page!