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Causes of Dental Anxiety
Many people struggle with dental anxiety, including both children and adults. Often, dental anxiety occurs prior to a dental appointment or procedure. Typically, people have feelings of anxiousness, nervousness or even fear. The causes are various, and each person is different, meaning that they may have specific things that trigger their dental anxiety.
What causes dental anxiety?
Outlined below are a few of the most common causes of dental anxiety. Although relatively common, it can be helpful to understand what causes it, in order to learn how to manage it.
Fear of pain
One of the main causes of dental anxiety for both children and adult patients is fear of pain. There are many dental procedures that involve dental drilling, poking around or reconstruction, which can all ignite dental anxiety. However, modern-day dentistry has allowed for the evolution of pain management and anesthetics, which help reduce, prevent and remedy pain. Most procedures that require dental drilling will also involve the use of anesthetics, which helps prevent any potential pain. Procedures that require extraction or surgery will involve the use of anesthetics and a pain management tool, such as an oral medication.
Ultimately, discussing pain preventers and managers can be helpful in managing dental anxiety that is caused by a fear of pain or discomfort. Most dentists have various tools that can be used prior to and during dental procedures.
Another cause of dental anxiety is the unknown. Not knowing what to expect or how things will go can be scary for many people, adults included. There is a common misconception that only children experience dental anxiety because they are not sure what to expect. However, that is far from the truth! Many adults are also not sure what to expect from their dental appointment or procedure, which can result in dental anxiety.
The average person does not know exactly how a dental procedure works or what to expect, which is completely normal. Often, however, it results in dental anxiety, which can be managed with the help of a dental team. Patients who are afraid of the unknown should consult with the dentist prior to the appointment or the procedure. The dentist or dental assistant can walk the patient through each step so they know what to expect. Additionally, they can walk the patient through each step as it is happening, which can ease fears or feelings of nervousness.
Embarrassment is another cause of dental anxiety, typically for adult patients. Children are often too aloof to feel embarrassed by their teeth or gums. However, adult patients tend to experience some level of dental anxiety when they have lapsed in their oral hygiene or skipped a dental appointment. What is important to know is that dentists and their teams will never judge patients on the status of their oral health. They may make recommendations to ensure that better care is taken in the future, but judgment will not be passed.
Get help with dental anxiety today!
Dental anxiety is caused by many things, and each person may have a different reason that they experience it. Working with a dental team to understand the cause of dental anxiety can be helpful for learning how to manage it. Reach out today to ask questions or get started with management options!
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