What is Dental Anxiety?
Dental Anxiety | How we can help
Dental anxiety is a term used to describe fear, anxiety or stress in a dental setting or situation. Having a fear of visiting your dentist can result in delaying and, in many cases, complete avoidance of any dental treatment. At Mitchell Dental Care we often see this at first hand. We have developed many techniques to allow our patients to (eventually) feel comfortable enough to attend regularly and in turn, look after their oral health properly. That anxiety might never leave them, but we can help you manage it and get through the necessary treatment.
Dental anxiety can be associated with specific triggers such as needles, drills or the 'dental environment' in general.
When dental anxiety is severe and results in irrational fear and complete avoidance of going to the dentist, it can be classified as dental phobia.
Some mental health conditions including generalised anxiety disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, or a previous history of head and neck trauma can increase the risk of a person experiencing dental anxiety.
Signs and symptoms of dental anxiety
People with dental anxiety may experience:
- racing heartbeat (tachycardia) or palpitations
- low blood pressure and potential fainting
- visible distress, crying or signs of panic
- withdrawal, or using humour or aggression to mask anxiety
Some anxious patients will routinely miss dental appointments and may find it difficult to undergo dental treatment regardless of whether it is simple or complex.
How dental anxiety or phobia can affect your oral health
Avoiding the dentist can result in the worsening of dental disease, a greater need for emergency care or more complex treatment. It can also feed the underlying problem of dental anxiety. This is known as the 'vicious cycle of dental anxiety'.
Don't let this affect your Oral Health.
At Mitchell Dental Care we really understand the varying levels of dental anxiety and some of the many reasons why this is present in some of our clients.