“Visiting the dentist gives me anxiety... What should I do?”
For most people, going to the dentist feels more like a chore than anything else. However, to some patients, it’s much more than that. Sitting in the waiting room or exam chair can cause feelings of seemingly insurmountable anxiety. Just the thought or sight of dentistry personnel and equipment can inflict fear and uneasiness in some people.
If you suffer from some degree of dental anxiety, you are not alone. WebMD reports that as many as 20% of American adults avoid going to the dentist because of feelings of apprehension.
Here at Hills Dental, we recognise the severity of this condition. Patients who have it are much more likely to suffer from poor oral hygiene, and they will often develop otherwise preventable oral health issues.
Our team is here to help you and your family. During every appointment, we make you as comfortable as possible and answer any questions you have along the way.
Learn more about dental anxiety in children and adults and what we can do to manage it.
Dental Anxiety in Children
Oftentimes, children develop dental anxiety due to a lack of exposure to the dentist’s environment. We encourage you to make an appointment for your child when they get their first tooth or by no later than their first birthday. This way, we can help them become comfortable with the idea of going to the dentist. The earlier they are exposed to the environment, the more likely they are to view it as a safe, welcoming space.
Dental Anxiety in Adults
Dental anxiety is not just an issue among children. Adults can develop it as well due to many reasons, including a traumatic experience with a dentist in the past.
Our team is prepared to answer questions, explain procedures, and educate you on your options when it comes to the treatment you need.
Our compassionate and kind staff is prepared to address your concerns and meet your needs.
Managing Dental Anxiety
Before administering any kind of aid for dental anxiety, we will evaluate your age, current health state, and degree of treatment. Some patients will only need minimal aid, while others will need more intentional kinds of intervention.
Some steps our team can take to help manage your anxiety include:
- Administer relative analgesia, which is also known as laughing gas, to help you relax
- Prescribe anxiety-relieving medication like oral anxiolytic tablets
- Administer conscious sedation via an IV
- Administer general anaesthesia
Frequency Asked Questions
How different individuals present anxiety will vary. Some general signs and symptoms that indicate you may have this issue include:
- Poor sleep the night before an appointment
- Low blood pressure
- Fainting caused by low blood pressure (known as syncope)
- Visible signs of distress or panic
- Social withdrawal during an appointment
- Tense muscles or difficulty breathing during an appointment
- Using aggression or humor as a coping mechanism
Dental anxiety is caused by many different factors. Some causes are triggered by certain events, while others have always been a problem for patients.
Some causes of this condition include:
- Fear of injections or procedures
- Fear of invasion of personal space
- Generalised anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Trust issues due to prior bad experiences with dentists
- Previous trauma to the head or neck
- Feelings of helplessness
- Other conditions like OCD, claustrophobia, or agoraphobia
No matter the root of your anxiety, our team of dentists is prepared to help you. Don’t hesitate to book your first appointment with us today!
If dental anxiety in a patient is not properly managed, he or she will likely forgo visiting the dentist altogether. This can result in:
- The need for emergency care
- The need for an otherwise preventable treatment
- The development of serious diseases like periodontitis or oral cancer
Why Choose Hills Dental As Your Dental Clinic
The same kind of care will not work for every patient. That’s why our team works hard to meet your individual needs in terms of dental care and comfortability.
We use modern techniques and equipment to prioritise your oral health.
We provide a calm, relaxed environment for you to wait and have your appointment in.
Schedule Your Dental Appointment Today!
Whether you need us to address a serious dental issue or want to get your bi-annual checkup out of the way, give us a call today to book your appointment! Our friendly and compassionate team will be there for you every step of the way. Whether you or your child are coming in for an appointment, you can trust us to meet your needs and ease your anxiety.