Dental anxiety is a common feeling that many patients experience before their appointment or even at their appointment. Anxiety is an emotional response to feeling worried or nervous about something. This can cause physical symptoms, such as sweating and an increased heart rate.
Anxiety can impact your daily life, not just with the dentist. It can range from minor to severe and cause significant distress. The difficulty is not knowing what to do when suffering from it or even understanding the type of anxiety you may be going through.
Once you understand what it feels like and know the next steps, you can get the support you need. Let’s learn about common anxiety types, including dental anxiety, and the options available so that you can get the right help to manage yourself through it.
What Are The Types Of Anxiety?
The types of anxiety include the following:
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Illness Anxiety Disorder
What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety?
The way anxiety feels can vary depending on person to person. Some may experience mild symptoms, and some may experience a panic attack. Here’s a comprehensive list of the symptoms of anxiety and what it can feel like in your mind and body:
- Feeling nervous
- Experiencing muscle tension
- Feel restless
- A racing heartbeat
- A lack of breath control
- Experiencing obsessive and intrusive thoughts
- Not being able to sleep
- Experiencing hot and cold sweats
- Feeling or experiencing signals of danger
These can exacerbate should you experience panic attacks, which can lead to:
- Feeling hot and cause
- Feeling nauseous
- Heart palpitations
- Experiencing chest compression or tightness
- A lack of control
What About Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety is also a common form of feeling nervous and fearful about something relating to dentistry, whether it be fear of injections or losing your sensation. If you’ve not visited the dentist for a while, you’ll likely feel apprehensive upon your visit. For example, you may be self-conscious about the state of your teeth and gums, and you feel embarrassed to show the dentist.
Dental anxiety impacts everyone differently and can cause you to skip or delay appointments to avoid your visit.
What Options Are Available To Manage My Dental Anxiety?
You don’t need to live with dental anxiety any longer. Modern dentistry has introduced dental sedation techniques to overcome your fears. Sedation dentistry is one option that can help patients relax through safe medication, also referred to as “sleep dentistry”.
Suppose you’re due for an appointment at the dentist, but you’re experiencing dental anxiety. In that case, you must notify the dentist as soon as possible to prepare appropriate sedation or other options. You may also request advice from the dentist as well. It is important to note that dentists are beneficial if you’re struggling with your anxiety, so consult them as early as possible to become prepared.