What To Do About Dental Phobia

Dental Phobia

More than 10 million adults in the United Kingdom have some level of dental anxiety, with an estimated six million suffering from dental phobia. If you are one of them, there are things that can help you deal with your anxiety and get the treatment you need.

Here we explore what dental anxiety is, the dangers it poses to your oral health, and the options available to help you get the treatment you need.

Different types of dental anxiety

Dental anxiety can manifest in various ways, each with its specific triggers. Here are some common types of dental anxiety:

Needles – Fear of needles, also known as trypanophobia, is a leading cause of dental anxiety. The sight or thought of needles can cause intense fear and avoidance of dental visits.

Gagging – Some people have a strong gag reflex that can be triggered by dental instruments. This can cause anxiety and discomfort, making it difficult to undergo even routine dental procedures.

Choking – The fear of choking, particularly when dental instruments or materials are in the mouth, can lead to significant anxiety. Patients may worry about the possibility of swallowing or choking during treatment.

Pain – Pain is a common concern that prevents many people from seeking the dental care that they need. The anticipation of pain, even with minor procedures, can cause severe anxiety.

Embarrassment – Many patients are embarrassed about the condition of their teeth or oral hygiene. This can lead to dental anxiety as they may fear judgement or criticism from the dentist.

Anaesthetic – Fear of anaesthetic side effects, such as feeling numb or dizzy, can also lead to dental anxiety. Some patients are anxious about the loss of control or potential allergic reactions to anaesthetics.

Understanding these specific fears is the first step in addressing and managing dental anxiety effectively. At CK Dental, our experienced and sympathetic dentists are able to help those with any fears and can discuss solutions and treatment options for helping to calm you before you go ahead with your appointment.

Symptoms of dental anxiety

The symptoms of dental anxiety can vary from person to person, but common symptoms include sweating, increased heart rate, trembling, nausea and even feeling faint.

Avoiding the dentist due to anxiety can lead to a host of oral health problems. Without regular cleanings and check-ups, plaque and tartar can build up, leading to gingivitis and eventually periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. Neglecting dental care can also result in cavities, which can worsen over time and potentially lead to tooth loss.

Regular dental cleanings help keep teeth white and free from stains. Avoiding the dentist can lead to discoloration and a less attractive smile. Finally, poor oral health has been linked to systemic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, making dental care essential for overall health.

Helping patients with dental phobia

Fortunately, there are several strategies and treatments available to help manage dental anxiety. You should first openly discuss any fears you may have with your dentist. Understanding your specific anxieties allows them to tailor their approach and provide reassurance.

At CK Dental, we offer sedation for nervous patients, which involves using medication to help you relax during dental procedures. This can range from mild sedation (where you remain awake but relaxed), to deeper sedation (you are less aware of the procedure). For severe cases of dental phobia, procedures can be performed under general anaesthetic, ensuring you are completely unconscious and unaware of the treatment.

Dr Cornelius Krause is a Dental Phobia-certified professional, which means he has proven experience in treating nervous patients and we are on the Dental Phobia register of UK dentists.

As well as treatment options for nervous patients, our clinic has been specifically designed to put patients at ease with a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Our compassionate team provides a comfortable and stress-free experience, ensuring you receive the care you need without fear.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, get in touch with our friendly receptionists today.