6 Most Common Sources of Patients’ Dental Anxiety
Many patients that visit our office suffer from some degree of dental anxiety. We believe that each of our patients should have an experience worth smiling about, even if they have fears. For this reason we offer a variety of options to ease these fears among our patients. However, we don’t think this is enough. We also believe that it’s important for our patients to understand where their fears might be coming from. This is why we are sharing some of the most common dental anxieties that patients have.
#1 – Anxiety Based on Negative Childhood Experiences
Children view the world much differently from adults. There are countless studies that show a majority of dental anxiety spurs from negative dental experiences. When researchers dug deeper, they found that about 60% of these negative experiences causing dental fears happen during a patient’s childhood. As a family practice, this is one of the main reasons we are determined to give each child a positive, enjoyable visit every single time.
#2 – The Fear of Experiencing Pain
Many people who suffer from dental anxiety actually have a fear of experiencing pain. This anxiety often leads the patient to imagine that their dental visit will somehow cause them pain. Some of these patients have sensitive teeth or gums, which means they may feel a little bit more discomfort than others. However, most dental visits consist of very little, if any, discomfort. We strive to ensure that all of our patients have a comfortable and relaxing experience, including a variety of options to eliminate pain during procedures.
#3 – A Fear of Being Poked with Needles
Much like the fear of pain, the fear of needles is another common factor in dental anxiety. This is a very common fear, even showing evidence that it “runs in the family.” In fact, studies by the American Psychiatric Association show that about 80% of people with a fear of needles report having a first-degree relative who also has a strong phobic response to them. This fear is one that we take very seriously, as we strive to limit the use of needles with those patients who fear them.
#4 – Anxiety About Being “Out of Control”
Some patients have a fear of not being in control, which is quite common among patients. We understand how hard it is to trust your body and health in the hands of someone else. This type of fear is one that we see on a regular basis, especially with patients who experience non-dental related anxiety as well. Our dentists have gone above and beyond, spending over a decade each in dental school and attending continuing education classes to be called true experts. This has taught them how to face any dental problems patients may have, as well as how to help them through their dental anxiety.
#5 – Anxiety Associated with the Sounds
This form of anxiety is very common, despite what you may think. The sound of a drill is the most likely source of noises that cause anxiety. This affects these patients much like nails on a chalkboard can affect others. For some patients these sounds are overwhelming, triggering an anxious response. We are more than happy to supply our patient with sound reducing headphones, as well as allow them to listen to their own music to help ease their anxiety.
#6 – A Fear of Embarrassment
Many patients who avoid the dentist, do so based off of a fear of embarrassment, even if they don’t realize it at the time. For some it’s because of the way they feel about their teeth’s appearance, while others its due to their dental hygiene habits. We understand why this anxiety may develop, however, we never judge a patient by their mouth. We truly believe that our patients have nothing to fear, as we would never embarrass them about anything. We are dedicated to preventing dental issues and treating our patients to the best of our abilities, regardless of the patient’s appearance or hygiene habits.
We love all of our patients and we want them to have the best experience possible in our office each time they visit. This is why we are dedicated to helping our patients with anxiety through a variety of options during their treatment. If you have questions or would like more information on dental anxiety, please feel free to contact us!