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Dental Anxiety and Fear of Dentist

Dental Anxiety and Fear of Dentist Q&A

Dental anxiety presents a number of different symptoms that can vary widely among individuals. Broadly speaking, the symptoms of dental anxiety will typically present in ways similar to those associated with more general forms of anxiety in that they will experience concern disproportionate to an actual threat of harm. Dental anxiety specialists are available at Selective Dental. For more information, please contact us or book an appointment online now! We are conveniently located at 3151 South White Road, Suite 203 San Jose, CA 95148.

Dental Anxiety and Fear of Dentist Near Me in South San Jose CA
Dental Anxiety and Fear of Dentist Near Me in South San Jose CA

Table of Contents:

What is dental anxiety?
What are the symptoms of dental anxiety?
What causes dental anxiety & phobia?
Who can be affected by dental anxiety?

What is dental anxiety?


Dental anxiety is a common concern that involves anxiety, stress, or fear associated with visiting the dentist. This type of anxiety can occur among both children and adults and in some cases can prevent individuals from maintaining their regularly scheduled dental checkups or seeking necessary dental attention when required.

Dental anxiety shouldn’t be taken lightly as it is associated with a wide range of deteriorating oral health outcomes. When dental visits are avoided, it can lead to a wide range of dental diseases and worsening conditions, which will necessitate even further and more complex treatments down the line. The cycle of avoiding regular checkups due to dental anxiety means that an individual’s few visits to the dentist are more likely to involve more complex and uncomfortable treatment options. This creates an unfortunate cycle where the anxiety is reinforced because they are forgoing preventative care and experiencing adverse oral health outcomes that require extensive treatments. A more severe form of dental anxiety is dental phobia.

What are the symptoms of dental anxiety?


Dental anxiety presents a number of different symptoms that can vary widely among individuals. Broadly speaking, the symptoms of dental anxiety will typically present in ways similar to those associated with more general forms of anxiety in that they will experience concern disproportionate to an actual threat of harm.

These symptoms can involve visible signs of distress such as panic, crying, sweating, heart racing, palpitations, experiencing an upset stomach, increased or decreased blood pressure, and in severe cases, fainting.

The presentation of symptoms along with the individual’s concerns can lead to avoidance of dental appointments and even necessary dental work leading to a wide range of serious oral health issues. The reactions to dental anxiety can be intense and can significantly impact an individual’s ability to follow through with necessary dental care.

What causes dental anxiety & phobia?


There are a wide range of potential causes of dental anxiety and phobia, which may or may not stem from specific concerns. Some individuals develop dental anxiety due to a fear of pain, which is often based on previous painful or unpleasant dental experiences earlier in life or from stories they have heard from others who have had similar experiences.

Other individuals may have anxiety over dental procedures involving needles or fear that anesthesia may not effectively prevent pain before treatment begins. Additional concerns include anxiety over side effects of anesthesia such as nausea, feeling faint, or dizziness. They may also experience discomfort with the physical closeness required during a dental visit, or embarrassment about the appearance of their teeth or the smell of their breath.

Feelings of loss of control and hopelessness when sitting in the dental chair can further contribute to dental anxiety. More extreme forms of dental anxiety can escalate into dental phobias, where there is an irrational fear and avoidance of going to the dentist, characterized by terror and panic despite knowing the fear is unreasonable.

Who can be affected by dental anxiety?


Almost anyone can be affected by dental anxiety and it can impact individuals of all ages. Often, dental anxiety begins with a poor childhood dental experience. However, children who have a bad dental experience can often overcome this anxiety if subsequent visits are comfortable experiences that address their concerns.

Adults who develop dental anxiety are more likely than children to continue experiencing it over time. Open communication with the dentist at Selective Dental about specific concerns can help tailor a treatment plan that accommodates individual triggers of anxiety. This approach, along with the many advancements in dental health and procedures, allows for a variety of options to manage dental anxiety effectively.

Dental anxiety specialists are available at Selective Dental. Visit us online now to learn more about our services and to meet our team of team of leading dental professionals! We encourage our new and current dental patients to visit us online for directions to our leading clinic and to learn more about our special offers! We serve patients from all over Santa Clara County CA: San Jose Milpitas, Santa Clara, Campbell, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos, and beyond!