Millions of Americans suffer from dental anxiety. Some anxiety is so severe that they fear being at the dentist.
Dental anxiety can range from mild discomfort to severe phobia. While many may dismiss dental anxiety as a minor inconvenience, it can significantly affect your overall health.
If you suffer from dental anxiety or fear, there is hope. The Dental Anesthesia Center specializes in helping patients with this issue receive the necessary dental care in a comfortable and safe environment.
The Hidden Dangers
One of the most significant dangers of dental anxiety is that it can lead to avoiding regular dental checkups and cleanings. This can result in serious oral health problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. When dental issues go untreated, they can cause pain, discomfort, and infection, spreading throughout the body and leading to other health problems.
In addition to the physical health risks, dental anxiety can significantly impact mental health. The fear of going to the dentist can cause stress, anxiety, and even depression, negatively affecting a person’s overall well-being. This can result in a decreased quality of life, as well as social and emotional difficulties.
Another hidden danger of dental anxiety is the financial burden it can place on individuals. When dental problems go untreated, they often require more extensive and costly treatment later on. For example, a simple cavity that could have been treated with a filling may progress to the point where a root canal or tooth extraction is necessary. This can result in higher healthcare costs and time off work or school.
Ways to Manage Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety can be a challenging condition to deal with, but several strategies can help manage and alleviate the fear and discomfort. Here are some ways to manage dental anxiety:
- Talk to your dentist: One of the most effective ways to manage dental anxiety is to communicate openly with your dentist. Tell them about your fears and concerns, and ask them to explain the procedure and potential risks. This can help you feel more in control and less anxious.
- Consider sedation dentistry: If your dental anxiety is severe, your dentist may recommend sedation dentistry. This involves the use of medication to help you relax during the procedure. Sedation dentistry can be administered in several ways, including through an IV or by taking a pill.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, and visualization are all relaxation techniques that can help calm nerves and reduce anxiety. Practicing these techniques before and during your dental appointment can help you feel more relaxed and in control.
- Ask for breaks: If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious during the procedure, ask your dentist for a break. Taking a few moments to calm down and regroup can help you feel more comfortable and in control.
You can manage dental anxiety and maintain good oral health by communicating with your dentist, using relaxation techniques, and seeking professional support.
Sleep Dentistry St. Louis
If you suffer from mild to severe anxiety or phobia about going to the dentist, we are here to help! The Dental Anesthesia Center is a state-of-the-art dental facility for patients requiring general anesthesia or deep sedation.