Dental anxiety is extremely common in some people because they have a fear in their mind that they are going to experience some severe pain which they have never done it before. Some anxieties are caused by the previous bad experiences while others might be due to generalized fear that can make people stressed out. The moment they think about dental appointments, they try various reasons to escape because the mere thought of going to dentist makes them get frightened. What they don’t realize is – many of the dental procedures are not painful. The dentists are very well aware of the procedures that causes pain and if treatments are meant painful, conscious sedation will be given to the patients to make them more comfortable.
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Difference between dental anxiety and dental phobia
People often think Dental anxiety and phobia are both same because they both represent the same meaning. Even though both symbolize the dental fear, they are quite different. Dental phobia is a much intense feeling than the normal fear where people get terrified just by the thought of a dentist or anything related to dental procedures. People with anxiety can overcome the situation by following some relaxation techniques but it is pretty hard for people with phobia to get over the panic attacks. People will apparently have different types of phobia – some may get frightened just by looking at the sharp instruments that are used for the procedures whereas others have predefined or pre-existing conditions of trauma from their past life.
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Reasons for dental fear
The degrees of anxiety & phobia differ from one person to another. People with extreme conditions may never see a dentist no matter how serious their dental condition is. Typically women and children are more prone to these conditions than men and the elderly. It is very common that people tend to be more afraid of procedures that involve advanced surgical methods than that of routine dental works or treatments. There are various reasons to develop these fears. Some of them are –
- Pain ・Fear of pain is one of the major concerns that people get afraid of and prevent themselves from having any dental treatments at all. Some people learn this from their past bad experiences while others develop these feelings by listening to others traumatic experiences or negative feelings.
- Lack of control ・It is very common for people to feel out of control when they are in helpless situation. Not all people react to the situation in the same manner. Some may feel very uncomfortable whereas others may have lesser feelings than the others. This may further trigger the feelings of lower confidence in the anxiety patients as they begin to think that something is wrong with them.
- Conscious about their oral health ・Since people with dental phobia avoid going to the dentists, they have very poor oral conditions. They invariable try to stay away from dental procedures unless they have serious issue that needs immediate dentist’s attention. These people are more self-conscious about how their teeth looks like and don’t like the feeling of showing their teeth to some stranger. They would rather suffer dental loss than go to the dentists to get the treatment done.
If any one of these symptoms are bothering and preventing you from going to the dentist, then it is better to overcome these feelings, concerns and fears by talking to the doctor. Having a discussion with dentist will ease the situation little bit and he/she will help you to overcome these challenges by changing the treatment methods.