Dental fear affects countless people worldwide, and is a major cause of neglected oral health. It is important to address this dental anxiety to be able to give the patient a chance to get the proper oral health care, in a relaxed and comfortable manner. Nervous patient care options such as conscious sedation are now being offered to make dental treatments more pleasant for anxious patients, making the procedure a much more experience for those with dental fear.
The feeling of anxiety upon entering a dental clinic, or when faced with the dentist or an upcoming dental treatment, can be the result of various factors. Some of the most common causes of fear from anxious patients include:
Fear of Pain This can result from the perceived idea of a treatment that may bring extreme discomfort or from a previous experience during a dental treatment that caused pain. The idea of going through a painful experience can cause a patient to become anxious about going to the dentist or even going for simple oral health care treatments.
Dentist Fear Fear of the dentist is another reason why nervous patients avoid going to the dental clinic. This fear may come from a negative personal experience with a dentist from the past, or from hearing about other people talking about their negative feedback regarding dentists. Being afraid of the dentist can also be the result of the idea that the treatments will be painful and the dentist is the one who can make that pain a reality.
Fear of the Dental Drill The whining sound of the dental drill can aggravate the negative feelings of a nervous patient, and can also be considered as synonymous to a painful experience. Even if no pain is actually felt, the loud drilling sound alone during a dental treatment may be enough to trigger a panic attack.
Fear of Needles Those who are afraid of needles may mostly be anxious about the start of a dental treatment when an injection is needed to administer the local anesthetic to the affected area. The idea of facing a needle, even if it is to numb the area so that no pain is felt, can heighten a nervous patients anxiety level.
Embarrassment over Poor Oral Health A person who has neglected oral health may find it difficult to let another person look inside his or her mouth, even if that person has had extensive experience in looking into countless patients mouths. This feeling of embarrassment can cause anxiousness and a general aversion to going to the dentist for checkups, or for dental treatments.