Many people fail to get the necessary dental treatment for fear of visiting a dentist. In fact, it is estimated that 5-8 percent of Americans have an extreme phobia of seeing their dentist. An addition 20 percent of the study population revealed that they only visit the dentist when there is no other option. The phobia of seeing a dentist is not only common with children, a considerable number of adults also experience this fear.
Causes of the anxiety and fear
Several factors may make a patient develop fear or anxiety when seeing a dentist. The most common causes of this fear and anxiety include:
Bad past experiences
Many people start fearing oral procedures early in life. The fear could be as a result of a terrible dental experience as a child. When a child experiences a bad experience with a dentist, it can remain in their memory for the rest of their lives. It may even affect them in their adult life. Many people who have been hurt in their past dental procedures fear that such traumatic incidences could occur again.
Patients suffering from the anxiety disorder
Many people suffer from anxiety disorders, which could be caused by totally different factors. These are individuals who get anxious about anything. Patients suffering from a pre-existing anxiety disorder may need treatment for the disorder even before undergoing any oral procedure.
Many people experience bad breath, which can be caused by various factors. Bad breath together with other oral problems such as tooth cavities may lower the self-esteem of a patient thus triggering the phobia of seeing an oral surgeon. This phobia may escalate the dental problems if they are not attended urgently.
A research conducted by a scientist from Norway indicates that human being has an innate natural instinct of protecting opening to their bodies such as the nose and the mouth. According to the researcher, the natural instinct is part of an evolutionary process where our ancestors covered their mouth and nose to keep alive. An oral surgeon bel air md provides important tips on how an individual can overcome this fear.
Introducing a calming distraction
Distraction is an effective treatment for fear and anxiety. A calming distraction can help a patient to ward off fearful thoughts about the procedures involved in oral surgery. Some of the most effective distracters include books, magazine, knitting project or even filling in puzzles while in the waiting room.
Most of the modern dental clinics have included other amenities that can help to distract patients while keeping them calm. They include television and listening to cool music in the background. Music is an effective remedy especially for patients who build tension when they hear the sounds of tools used in the surgery room.
Besides distraction, a patient can utilize breathing and relaxation techniques to keep calm. Taking deep breaths will help in relaxing the body muscles and hence relieving the tension. In addition, a patient should develop a good relationship with their dentist. As such, they can discuss their feelings and issues with the dentist without fear.