Dental anxiety is one of the most important issues facing dentists and patients today. When patients feel too anxious to go to the dentist, they avoid routine dental exams and they might not go to the dentist for what they consider to be minor discomfort. Not seeing their dentist means that any oral health problems the patient may be having will probably get worse. The more severe a problem is, the lengthier and more uncomfortable treating the problem tends to be and this can make patients who need to go in for emergency treatment even more wary of dentists. Undiagnosed issues often lead back to the necessity of emergency treatment and this pattern is known as the cycle of dental anxiety.
Now, anxiety itself isn’t inherently bad. We developed anxiety as a species for good reasons – it’s a feeling that warns us there may be danger ahead and that feeling prepares us to face the potential danger. When you start wondering about what could go wrong, or you’re prepared to engage in fight or flight, you’re experiencing anxiety. That can help you in a lot of cases – if you feel underprepared for a job interview, you might feel anxious, so you’ll be extra mindful of your appearance and how you present yourself. You might even prep yourself by doing mock interviews. This alleviates the anxiety because by feeling more prepared, the task ahead seems less daunting.
Dental anxiety is entirely natural; there are times where dental cleanings and other procedures can feel uncomfortable and our bodies have a natural aversion to discomfort. Problems only arise when that anxiety is so severe that you can’t go to the dentist.
Phobias are anxieties that are both persistent and unrealistic either because the sense of danger is exaggerated or there is no danger present at all. One way of overcoming a phobia is to understand that the fear is exaggerated. A dental phobia might be alleviated when you know that there are a variety of mindfulness techniques that your dentist can teach you to alleviate your anxiety. You might also be relieved to know that a variety of sedatives and painkillers may be used to help alleviate your discomfort. The best way of dealing with anxiety is exposure. Rather than going to the dentist and having a number of procedures done at once, go for a short amount of time instead. You might even start by going to the office and talking to the dentist, having no procedures done at that time, but just to get accustomed to the environment.
When you have anxiety, it’s important to talk to your dentist about it. You can talk about it before your appointment when you call the reception desk or when you go in for your appointment. A professional dental clinic in Winnipeg will be well-equipped to help you tackle your dental anxiety. Anxiety is currently one of the most prevalent patient concerns in dentistry and this means that most dentists are now aware of a variety of techniques to help you move beyond your fears.