Dental anxiety

What is dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety can be described as nervousness, dislike, fear or worry towards visiting the dentist. If you feel like you are struggling to get into the dentist, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would like to assist and support you with your dental health.

What causes dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety can be the result of varying circumstances. Below we have listed some of the causes of dental anxiety:
  • The price: Financial worry can be a factor in dental anxiety. If you are worried about the financial impact, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss payment options.
  • A fear of pain: Perhaps you are afraid of being in pain because of your treatment. However, if this is communicated to your dentist, measures can be taken to reduce the chances of pain as well as minimising the pain felt.
  • Significant periods of time from previous appointments can lead to worry in patients, especially if there are concerns about poor oral hygiene. Our dentists are here to support you and improve your oral health.
  • A phobia of needles: If you have a fear of needles, it is worth mentioning to your dentist as they may be able to provide numbing gels prior to an injection.
  • Prior experience: We recognise that your experience may shape the way you feel about future appointments, but we are here to reassure you that your appointments can be comfortable. Please communicate your concerns and fears so we can assist you and aid the process of prioritising your oral health.

How to prevent & treat dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety can be reduced by pre-emptively planning your next visit, anticipating potential costs, and concerns and having the appointment schedule in advance.
  • Communication: Discuss any concerns or fears you may have with your dentist, by working with each other your dentist can help meet your needs.
  • Finding techniques for self-soothing: Practicing your coping mechanisms will allow you to process and deal with your appointment, we suggest breathing techniques or listening to music.
  • Sedation: Your dentist may be able to provide treatment to you whilst sedated, however, we also have clinics specialised in sedating nervous patients.
  • Anaesthetics: Local anaesthesia may be used to numb an area of the mouth, reducing the pain felt during treatment.
  • Therapy: Although your dentist will not provide therapy on dental anxiety, you can seek out professional help to ease the stress. CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) may be suggested.  

How to spot it/symptoms?

If you experience symptoms of anxiety such as:  feeling dread/fear, struggling to concentrate, irritability, dizziness, or tiredness, feeling a difference in the speed of your heartbeat, feeling short of breath, feeling sick, experiencing a stomach-ache, sweating and difficulty sleeping - You might have dental anxiety. It is worth discussing this with your dentist or doctor to receive support.

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