We all have some things that we fear, some more than others, either way, overcoming such fears are always the best resolution. Fear ranges from basic to extreme, depending on your perspective, nevertheless, they all evoke the same feelings of anxiety. As much as a yearly visit to the dentist is such a norm to others, it’s a rather terrifying situation for some. Just the thought of going to the dental office sets of a bit of uneasiness, not necessarily seen, unless that person indicates so, but can be the key reason why many just skip dental checkups all together. Other experience the fear based on association with certain triggers such as needles, drills, use of Nitrous oxide or just the phrase “Open Wide”. Whatever the trigger, it’s still something that needs attending to.
What causes it?
As we know, everything has a reason, the ‘each action causes a chain reaction theory’, so for many, dental uneasiness sprung from a defining attribute. So perhaps there was an awful dental encounter or another medicinal experience that just makes them dodge anyone in a white coat. For example, people recall a dental specialist that was harsh and impatient with waiting for the sedatives to kick in before starting treatment. Encounters such as these can leave a lasting imprint and prevent patients’ future cooperation with any dental specialists.
Maybe it was past injury to the head or neck that just causes utter discomfort sitting in an obtuse position for more than a minute. Maybe there’s just a sense of uneasiness, melancholy or post-horrendous pressure issue underlying. Some feel that the mouth is an individual zone and getting to the mouth is an attack of individual space. The feeling of lack of control or there’s trust issues. Even low pain tolerance and the assumption that anything done will hurt.
There are however five theories associated with dental anxiety:
- Pavlovian intellectual molding is the most normally used pathway of dental dread and uneasiness utilized by the patients, whereby past excruciating dental experience may contrarily affect people’s future dental participation.
- Educational pathway is a backhanded pathway to fear that includes finding out about dreadful dental occasions as told by different people.
- Vicarious molding is another backhanded pathway, whereby people may secure dental fear by adapting in a roundabout way through watching the reactions of others going to a dental specialist.
- In Verbal transmission/risk, there is no immediate perception of awful/dreadful occasion, yet through hearing or finding out about risky or compromising data about an improvement regardless of a genuine nearness of the threatening upgrade. In this pathway, dental visit is utilized as a disciplinary measure for getting into mischief.
- Parental pathway alludes to a circumstance where a dreadful conduct showed by a parent turns into a pathway of securing dental tension by a kid. A more grounded relationship is seen when the mother communicates heightened dreadful conduct
While there are other unlisted reasons, we have to remember that fear isn’t the worst thing, as its the body’s way of guarding ourselves from hurt. It may not be recommended to always be fearful, however, if the feeling comes along, factor in the pros and cons as to what the outcome would be if aborted, or faced head on.
With that said, let’s look at what would happen if you ditched you dentist all together:
- Prone to gum disease
- Oral Cancers
- Underlying disease such as diabetes remaining undiscovered
- Stained teeth from lack of cleaning
- Bad breath or loss of teeth due to plaque build up
- Tooth decay
- Abscesses and Infections
So how do you manage Dental Anxiety you ask:
It’s been discovered that simple things are usually the right answers to complex situations. If your fear is generated from a specific dentist, just switch! Get another one. There’s plenty on the market to go around. If not, here are some alternative suggestions:
- Discuss it with your dentist – knowing what they know, you most likely aren’t the only client they have that suffers with the issue, so they may have agreeable remedies
- Practice some stress management or breathing techniques to calm yourself
- Listen to some music – this is the universal calling card
- Use hand signals to communicate with your dentist if you start to get uneasy
There’s no need to be embarrassed when it comes to dental fears, as long as they don’t hinder your proper oral health care, you’ll be fine.