North Bethesda Dentist | Dental anxiety is a real thing for many people. It has no regard for age or social standing. It is estimated that anywhere from seven to 18% of the population experiences significant dental anxiety. Your North Bethesda dentist is trained to recognize dental anxiety and help patients become more comfortable when receiving needed dental care.
What is dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety is an experience in which a patient is extremely nervous when thinking of a dental visit to receive dental procedures or preventive care. It is basically a type of stress, fear, or panic that you feel when you enter a dental environment, or even thinking of such an environment.
A person experiencing dental anxiety may display a rapid pulse, sweating, upset stomach, and an overall feeling of dread when thinking of visiting the dentist office.
Dental anxiety is also known as dental phobia – a feeling of fear that can be caused by drills, needles, or thinking about a dental visit. It is not uncommon for those with dental anxiety to have had previous bad experiences, typically in childhood, that are causing their present fears of the dentist and the dental environment.
Symptoms of Dental Anxiety
Anxious patients can experience responses that are physical, emotional, behavioral and cognitive.
Such a patient believes that they are better off by delaying a visit to the dental office. In reality, they are making it more likely that they will need costly and uncomfortable dental work in the future.
A patient dealing with dental anxiety may experience any of the following:
Rapid heartbeat or heart palpitations
Fainting or low blood pressure
Increased blood pressure
Apparent distress or signs of panic
Dealing With Dental Anxiety
If you suffer from dental anxiety, don’t be embarrassed. As mentioned earlier, this is an extremely common feeling that is shared by many patients. One of the best ways to deal with dental anxiety is to be upfront about it. Your dental team is used to dealing with patients with dental anxiety. T hey definitely want to know about it if you are having these feelings so that your experience is as comfortable as possible.
Many patients with dental anxiety find that it helps to distract themselves during their dental appointments. You can use a stress ball or fidget spinner, for example. Many patients are helped by wearing headphones or earbuds. Listening to an audiobook or your favorite music can help cover up the sound of dental instruments. Just make sure that you select a volume that is not so high that you cannot communicate with your dental team.
Another way to relieve dental anxiety is to have a medication prescribed for you. You can take either prior to your visit or during it.
Most dentists also offer nitrous oxide – a colorless, odorless gas that helps you relax. But wears off rapidly after the supplying mask has been removed.
For More Information
If you are anxious about an upcoming dental appointment, don’t be afraid to reach out to us and let us know. There is nothing unusual or abnormal about these kinds of feelings. Your friendly dental staff is here to assist you in ensuring that your visit with us is as comfortable as humanly possible.