Have you ever been frozen with fear at the mere thought of going to see a dentist? If you have, you are not alone. You are one of the millions of people in the US to have what is known as dental anxiety. This is a real condition that affects around 50 to 80 percent of the entire US population. Many people have fears of their dentist that range from mild to severe.
Many people may think that this may not be a serious problem. However, that could not be further from the truth. Dental anxiety can have dire effects on a person’s oral health and, in turn, on their overall health as well.
Effects of Dental Anxiety
In some cases, a person with dental anxiety will go to their dental appointment, sit in the dentist’s chair, and, despite being scared to death, will be able to get over their fear and get through the dental appointment. However, there are instances where a person will totally avoid going to the dentist because of their dental anxiety.
These people are usually crippled with fear even at the mere thought of the dentist. The oral health of people with very severe dental anxiety will decline because they will put off going to the dentist. Since poor dental health may have a serious impact on the overall health of a person, they may later develop health issues, such as digestive problems and even issues with heart health, if they do not get the dental treatments they need.
Dealing with Dental Anxiety
If you suffer from dental anxiety, try these tactics before your next dental visit to help you go through with the appointment.
1 - Talk to Your Dentist
The first and best option you have is to talk to your dentist about your fears. Most of the time, people with dental anxiety are not even sure what triggers their anxiety. All they are sure of is that they fear going to the dentist.
Since dental anxiety is a common condition, dentists may offer sedation techniques that may help people keep calm while they are in the dentist’s chair. Asking your dentist about these options may be beneficial to you. Also, you should not be afraid to clarify any questions with your dentist. They will be more than happy to address your concerns about any procedure you may have apprehensions about.
2 - Distract Yourself
Distracting yourself as you make your way to the dentist may help curb your anxiety. Try to take your mind off the fact that you are going to the dentist. Listen to music and try to pay attention to your surroundings.
3 - Mindfulness Techniques
Mindfulness techniques may also be an effective method to help a person deal with dental anxiety. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed with fear when going to the dentist, you can count your breaths, count backward from ten, and do other mindfulness techniques to get your mind off the dental appointment.
Keep in mind that you do not have to sacrifice your dental health if you have dental anxiety. If you feel that you have a fear of going to the dentist, you should look to your dentist for help. They can help you get over your anxiety and put your mind at ease about what procedures you need to have done.
Dental House MI offers various dental procedures, including preventive dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and many other procedures, to solve your dental issues. We offer everything you need to get the smile you have always dreamed of. Contact Dental House today and tell us how we can help you.