Got dental anxiety? You are definitely not alone. The majority of people have some form of dental anxiety, which can range from very minor to very extreme. According to WebMD, up to 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety, although that number is believed to be higher. Dental anxiety is nothing new. In fact, about 50 years ago a group of scientists got together in order to create a number of questionnaires and surveys in order to understand what exactly makes people so anxious when needing to go to the dentist.
The results were beneficial and brought together a team of scientists, psychologists and dentist that were all to specifically focus on how to help people overcome their fears of going to the dentist. Now people who have an extreme case of dental anxiety are able to receive a combination of therapies that can help them overcome their fear of going to the dentist.
What exactly is anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal and thus natural human response that many people experience when faced with a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable. While a little bit of anxiety is absolutely acceptable and can even be seen as a positive, some people have such extreme anxiety that it interferes with their ability to function normally. In these cases, professional assistance is usually the best solution.
Why dental anxiety?
One of the main reasons why someone may be experiencing dental anxiety is because they had a negative dental experience in the past. Other reasons include the patient feeling completely helpless while the dentist is performing any necessary treatments, not wanting to feel any pain and not fully understanding what the dentist is doing, of which all are completely understandable. More and more dentists are beginning to address their patient’s dental anxiety these days as this will allow them to better assist them with their dental needs.
Dental anxiety quiz
The following dental anxiety quiz is meant to help people understand a little bit more about the anxiety that is all too common when it comes time for someone to make a dentist appointment.
True or false?
- Extreme dental anxiety is more commonly found in women than men. (True!)
- There are more people who are afraid to go to the dentist then there are people who are afraid of heights. (True!)
- Dental phobia is a real condition that is recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. (True!)
- A study on dental fears found that almost 30% of dental students had dental anxiety themselves. (True!)
- When someone talks about their dental anxiety it only makes things worse. (False!) Talking about fears and expressing dental anxiety concerns is a great way to help combat dental anxiety.
- Simple things like a blanket to keep warm and music to listen to can help to ease a patient’s dental anxiety. (True!)
- Anxious patients are always in a bad mood. (False!)
- Dental anxiety can happen to anyone, no matter their age or gender. (True!)
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