Do You Have Dental Anxiety?
Do you have dental anxiety? You’re not alone.
According to a study published in the Australian Dental Journal, more than 16 per cent of all Australians are right there with you. It’s no wonder that the study also found that they take longer to make their regular dental appointments. They’re scared to death.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s look into a few dental anxiety facts and discover how to conquer your own dental anxiety.
What Is Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety (or dental fear) is the anxiety, fear, or stress some people feel when going to the dentist. Whether it’s walking into the exam room or seeing needles and drills, their hearts might race, or they might start to sweat, cry, panic, or faint.
People with other mental conditions or a history of neck or head trauma have a higher risk of dental anxiety. Additionally, the Australian Dental Journal study we cited earlier revealed that women of any age and all people aged 40-64 have a higher risk.
How Can Dental Anxiety Affect My Health?
First, if your fear keeps you out of the dentist’s chair, any issues you might have will worsen, making the inevitable treatment a more uncomfortable one. That, in turn, will only intensify your anxiety the next time you have a toothache, a chipped tooth, or another dental emergency.
It’s a vicious circle — and one that can affect your general health as well. Severe gum disease, among other issues, can lead to heart disease, blood clots, and other serious illnesses, as a Harvard University study shows. That’s pretty scary, too.
But you — and the other 16 per cent — don’t have to cower in fear, trembling the next time you see a dentist’s appointment on your calendar. Quite a few dentists these days are sympathetic to patients with dental anxiety.
We’re one of those dental practices. If you live in the greater Sydney area, our offices in Baulkham Hills and Dural can quiet your fears with our comfort menu.
Even if you don’t live near Sydney, there are options. There are other like-minded dentists in cities all across Australia.
What Is a Comfort Menu?
At Integrity Dental, your comfort — along with your oral health — is our top priority. We offer a wealth of comfort choices that can keep you comfortable and happy during your visit.
- Neck pillows
- Watching your favourite shows on TV
- Soothing music
- Warm local anaesthesia
- Happy gas
- IV sedation
- An in-house anaesthetist that can put you in a near-sleep state
Before you arrive, try deep breathing, meditation, guided imagery, listening to your favourite music, progressive muscle relaxation, or a relaxing bath or massage.
If your dental anxiety continues, we can always refer you to a psychologist if you want. Sometimes, treating underlying issues can lessen the impact of dental anxiety — or even relieve it altogether.