Fear, stress, or anxiety resulting from a dental setting is classified as dental anxiety. Things like lab drills, needles, or even the dental setting, in general, can trigger dental anxiety. People with dental anxiety tend to avoid going to the dentist, resulting in dental problems like cavities and gingivitis.
However, dental anxiety can be managed through various techniques and medications. Let’s take a look at them in this article.
Symptoms of Dental Anxiety
People who have dental anxiety might experience the following symptoms when visiting the dentist:
- Racing heartbeat
- Signs of panic
Causes of Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety can be caused due to many reasons, including:
- Past trauma to the neck or head
- Past traumatic dental experience
- General anxiety/depression
- Having trust issues
- Having a history of abuse
- Having other conditions, like OCD, claustrophobia, etc
How to Manage Dental Anxiety
There are multiple ways of managing dental anxiety, including psychological techniques as well as medications.
Your dentist might suggest you the following psychological techniques to overcome your dental anxiety:
- Listening to music as a distraction
- Deep breathing
- Guided imagery
- Having breaks between dental procedures
Your dentist might also refer you to a psychologist for cognitive behavioral therapy, who can provide a treatment plan to help with your dental anxiety.
Happy Gas (Relative Analgesia)
Nitrous oxide, often called laughing gas or happy gas, is another way to help people with dental anxiety. Before the start of the dental procedure, your dentist will make you wear a mask and breathe a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. This can help you feel relaxed for a short time.
Anxiety Relieving Medication
Often, your dentist might recommend anxiety-relieving medication. It’s supposed to be taken an hour or so before the appointment and works for a short time. An example of such medicine is temazepam.
If you have dental anxiety and are afraid to visit the dentist, try Advance Dental Center in Germantown, MD. We take care of our patients and ensure they feel at ease during their appointments. We offer all kinds of dentistry services, including cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, dental veneers, and more. Get in touch with our team to make arrangements for your appointment!