If you get sweaty palms and your heart starts to race when you sit in a dental chair, you are not alone. Many patients experience dental anxiety, but at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas we can help you overcome your fears. Dental anxiety can prevent many people from getting the treatment they need to maintain good oral and overall health. Studies have shown that dental anxiety increases during root canals, more so than any other procedure, even oral surgery. In this post, we will talk about dental anxiety begins and how you can concur it.
How Does Dental Anxiety Start?
Almost all the fears are learned from conditioning. In contrast, a phobia causes intense worry during a dental appointment with no explainable cause. For dental anxiety, fears can be conditioned directly or indirectly. The most common way to develop dental anxiety is through direct conditioning. For example, when you were younger, you may have experienced a painful dental procedure. During this experience, you coupled the pain with all dentists, leading to dental anxiety. The good news? The best way to reduce dental anxiety is through positive direct conditioning. Meaning, the more you couple positive dental experiences with all dentists, the easier and more comfortable a dental visit will become.
Additional Causes of Dental Anxiety.
You can also develop dental anxiety indirectly, by observing a parent’s anxiety, receiving worrisome information about someone else’s experience, viewing disturbing dental images, and being threatened by a previous dentist. Another way that patients develop dental anxiety is through anticipation of pain. Worrying about pain to come can often create a larger physiological response than the pain itself. Additionally, at Cox Family Dentistry, Dr. Cox will work with you to manage your pain through sedation dentistry, if necessary. Finding the root cause of your dental anxiety can help you overcome your fears and address the underlining worry. At Cox Family Dentistry we encourage you to discuss your fears and worries about dentistry with us.
The Vicious Cycle That Dental Anxiety Creates
Once patients have developed dental anxiety, the easiest way they subside their worries is by avoiding the dentist. However, this often leads to poor oral health resulting in the need for more invasive procedures like extractions and root canals. The need for more invasive procedures can exacerbate dental anxiety because of it yet again, couples unpleasant dentistry with all dentists. The best way to avoid the vicious cycle of dental anxiety is to talk to Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry about your worries.
Ways To Relieve Dental Anxiety Without Medication
A few ways that you can relieve your mild to moderate dental anxiety without medication is through distracting yourself during the appointment, asking Dr. Cox questions about the procedure, and using relaxation therapy. One of the most effective ways to reduce dental anxiety without medication is through hypnosis. If you have a dental phobia or severe dental anxiety, talk to the Cox Family Dentistry team to learn about possible pharmacological solutions to your fears.
Dental anxiety is a condition that many patients experience. However, working with Dr. Cox and the Cox Family Dentistry team, you can reduce your anxiety and receive the oral care you deserve.