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Identifying And Overcoming Your Dental Anxiety

Majority of people can live with some anxiety levels about visiting the dentist. However, for those with dental phobia or anxiety, the very thought of seeing a dental is terrifying. In fact, they may be so frightened, that they would do just almost anything to avoid that dental appointment. In a survey reported in the 2010 Australian Dental Journal, about 16 per cent of all Australian adults have acute dental fear!

Symptoms Of Dental Phobia

werxEverybody has concerns and fears everyone copes with them in diverse ways. Nevertheless, the prospect of getting some dental procedure need not fill you with such great terror. If however, it does, you then may require some assistance in overcoming such fears.

Some of the more easily recognized signs of dental phobia may include

  • Feeling stressed or even having trouble getting to sleep the night ahead of your dental assessment.
  • Getting increasingly nervous as you sit in the dentist’s waiting room.
  •  Feeling miserable whenever you think of visiting the dentist.
  •  The mere sight of that white-coated dental personnel or dental instruments greatly increases your anxiety.
  •  The mere thought of a visit to the dentist makes you feel ill physically.
  •  Panicking or having trouble breathing whenever dental objects get placed inside your mouth by the dentist.

Causes Of Dental Anxiety

People develop dental phobias and anxieties for lots of different reasons. However, when medical researchers interview the patients, several common themes clearly emerge.

Fear Of Pain

wedrfcIn a scientific survey of persons who had not visited a dentist for the previous 12 months, 6 percent cited fear of pain as their main reason. The findings were in Australian Dental Journal, a publication of the Australian Dental Association. This fear of pain is most widespread among adults 24 years and above. This might be because their previous dental visits took place before most of the recent advances in today’s “pain-free” dentistry.


The mouth is an intimate body part, and some may feel embarrassed or ashamed having a total stranger looking inside there. This could be worse if they’re very self-conscious of how their teeth appear. This could make some uncomfortable and anxious.

Feeling Helpless And Not In Control

Lots of people develop phobias regarding situations like flying in an aeroplane, where they feel they’ve got no control. When such people are in the dentist’s chair, they’ve got to stay very still. They might feel they predict what’s likely to hurt or can’t see what’s happening. It becomes common for such people to feel rather out of control and helpless, which could trigger anxiety.

Previous Negative Experiences

Anybody who has experienced discomfort or pain during a past dental procedure is most probably to be more anxious and fearful during the next episode with the dentist.

Overcoming The Anxiety

wqerxsLike any other mental disorder, a dental phobia can be managed. Without proper treatment, it could become worse over time partly because your emotional stress may make the visits even more uncomfortable than they should be. You need to discuss with your dentist concerning your concerns, fears and feelings. The dentist is trained to assist you in overcoming these emotions by changing the manner in which you’re treated. The dentist may also decide to refer you to a qualified mental health professional.

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