It’s common to experience dental anxiety, but there are ways to cope with it. Since dental phobia is less frequent, your dentist may need to handle it in conjunction with your doctor and other medical specialists.
There are methods for coping if worry keeps you from visiting the dentist. What solutions are best for you should be discussed with your dentist. To deal with your anxiety, you might need to talk to a psychologist or counsellor. Of course, there can always be anxiety about whether your health fund will cover dental work. We will also discuss the best way to help you reduce this stress – it’s called extras health insurance comparison.
What We Will Cover In This Blog:
- Dental anxiety symptoms and signs
- How dental phobia or anxiety may impact your oral health
- Causes of dental dread and anxiety
- Who might be impacted by dental phobia?
- How to control dental phobia or anxiety
- Does your health fund cover dental expenses
What Is Dental Phobia
Dental anxiety is the fear, worry, or tension related to a dental environment. Fear of the dentist might cause people to put off or forego dental care. It can be brought on by things like drills, needles, or the dental office environment in general.
Dental phobia is a term used to describe extreme cases of dental anxiety that result in irrational dread and avoidance of visiting the dentist.
Dental anxiety may be more likely to develop in some mental health problems, such as generalised anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or a history of head and neck trauma. Anxiety disorders may also be more likely to develop in people who simultaneously have other illnesses including depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.
Dental Anxiety Symptoms And Signs
Anxious dental patients could go through:
- Sweating tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) or palpitations
- Low blood pressure and the potential for fainting (syncope),
- Obvious anguish, sobbing or other indicators of panic withdrawal, or
- Masking worry with humour or aggressiveness
Some anxious persons may regularly skip or avoid dental appointments and may find it challenging to receive dental treatment, whether it is straightforward or involved.
How Dental Phobia Or Anxiety May Impact Your Oral Health
Avoiding the dentist might make dental condition worse, necessitate more emergency care, or require more complicated treatment. Additionally, it can exacerbate the underlying issue of dental anxiety. The “vicious cycle of dental anxiety” refers to this.
Regular dental checkups, cleanings, and X-rays of the teeth can prevent dental disease and assist the dentist in identifying any issues early on, resulting in the need for less complicated and invasive treatments. In addition to performing a routine examination, dentists also look for oral cancer symptoms. This is crucial for anyone who smokes, consumes alcohol frequently, or does both. Consult a dentist as soon as you can if you find a mouth ulcer that persists for more than two weeks.
The majority of dental disease is avoidable and connected to lifestyle. When you do see the dentist, you may need more involved procedures because of your avoidance, but you will also miss out on learning how to better take care of your oral health.
Dental disease is caused by lifestyle variables that are remarkably similar to those that cause diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer (regularly consuming sugary food and drinks, smoking and regularly drinking alcohol). Therefore, it’s crucial to take care of your dental and general health and to remember to brush your teeth twice daily and floss once daily.
Where Does Dental Dread and Anxiety Come From?
Dental phobia may result from:
- A terrible dentist visit or other type of medical incident
- Prior head and neck injuries, as well as other traumatic events, such as maltreatment
- Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or generalised anxiety
- The belief that entering the mouth constitutes a violation of personal space because it is a private area
- Difficulties with trust, loss of control fears
- Anxiety linked to other disorders like obsessive compulsive disorder, claustrophobia, or agoraphobia, which is the fear of being in settings from which you feel you cannot escape, or claustrophobia, which is the fear of enclosed spaces.
Who Could Be Impacted By Dental Phobia?
Anyone of any age can have dental anxiety.
In most situations, children who have had unpleasant dental experiences can get over their fear if the matter is handled properly and they are supported and cared for during subsequent dental visits. Adults who experience dental anxiety frequently experience anxiety for the rest of their lives.
Many fearful dental patients are fortunate to find a dentist who understands their predicament, making it easier for them to deal with going to the dentist.
How To Control Dental Phobia Or Anxiety
People can manage their dental phobia or anxiety in a variety of ways. If you feel any level of dental anxiety, it’s crucial to let the dentist know. The dentist can work with you to create a treatment plan for your anxiety by having an open discussion about the specific triggers that affect you.
Among some psychological coping mechanisms are:
- breathing exercises distraction (such as listening to music or the use of devices)
- directed imagery
- progressively relaxing the muscles
- deciding with your dentist on a signal to use a weighted blanket or take a break throughout the procedure (such as raising your left pointer finger or hand) (bring your own)
An introduction to a psychologist may also be beneficial. Cognitive behavioural therapy is one example of a short, focused therapy that can be quite effective.
The use of relative analgesia (happy gas), anxiety medications, conscious sedation (twilight sedation), or general anaesthesia may be necessary for the medical management of severe dental anxiety or phobia. Please ensure you discuss this first with your dentist and GP.
Does Your Health Fund Cover Dental?
As we mentioned, it can sometimes cause a massive amount of stress and anxiety not knowing if your health fund will cover specific items. To help manage this, it’s important to regularly review your policy to make sure you are covered. Also it pays to check any Gap Fees that you might have to pay, as this could still leave with you with significant out of pocket expenses. By regularly reviewing these you can alleviate a lot of stress of the unknown associated with dental work and procedures.
Compare Health Insurance Today
A great way to put your mind at ease when thinking about dental extras is to do a private health insurance comparison and do an extras insurance comparison. You know what your dental needs will be coming up in the future or currently, so will be able to compare extras cover and find the best dental cover for your needs. The quickest and easiest way to compare extras cover is through Billy Explores! You can save time and effort and explore potential savings.
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