Dental Anxiety and Phobias in Wichita Falls

Dental anxiety and phobia are common and have serious consequences for oral health. It is estimated that more than one in seven of the population of Western countries avoid dental care due to fear. In this article, we will learn about dental anxiety and phobia within the Western world and tips by a dentist in Wichita Falls, TX on how to cope with it.

According to studies, up to 15% of people in the West suffer from severe dental anxiety, which prevents them from seeking dental care because of their fear. A person’s social confidence and sense of self-worth are adversely impacted when their oral health declines. Their following avoidance tendency creates a “vicious cycle” of escalating anxieties.

How to handle

To assist reduce dental anxiety, the American Dental Association (ADA) advises people to do the following:

  • Diversion: During a dental examination, distractions might help a patient relax. There may not be many alternatives, but some people find that squeezing a stress ball, playing music, or visualizing a nice, peaceful environment helps.
  • Practicing mindfulness: Mindfulness allows a person to focus on their immediate surroundings and situation so that they can find peace and relax in the moment without overreacting. A person can try to focus on their breathing or take a few minutes to review their body and relax their muscles from head to toe.
  • Conversation: Before or during the exam, a person may find it helpful to inform the dentist about their anxiety. This can also allow the dentist and their team to provide more compassionate care. It may also help a person to ask questions about what is happening, work out a signal to indicate they need a break, or talk with the dentist about anything that causes pain or discomfort during the exam.

Dental anxiety is prevalent among the general public. For a large number of people, it has no impact on their commitment to routine dental checkups and treatment. Some people may not receive the proper care because of their worry or, in rare circumstances, their dread of seeing the dentist. This may result in oral health problems down the road that call for more extensive care and treatment. A person suffering from dental anxiety might reduce their worry by making little changes. These might involve having talks with the dentist, looking for diversions, or figuring out how to unwind while at the dentist.

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