What Is Dental Anxiety?

Claustrophobia. Arachnophobia. Dentophobia? It’s a real thing, and it’s not uncommon. At Reen Chung, DDS, we may love our field of work, but there’s certainly a good number of people out there who have a strong fear of the dentist or getting dental work done. This feeling can range from a general uneasiness and anxiety all the way to a paralyzing fear. We certainly don’t want anyone to be prevented from taking care of their smile because of this, so we hope by shedding some light on dental anxiety, we can give people the tools they need to manage their fear and seek care when needed.

dark haired girl in a black jacket sitting outside worrying about dental anxiety

Signs of Dental Anxiety

If you start to feel physically unwell either while you are thinking or are actually at the dentist, you find it hard to get sleep the night before you’re scheduled to go into a dental appointment, and/or you look for any reason to avoid seeing the dentist, then chances are you have some form of dental anxiety or dental phobia.

Causes of Dental Anxiety

The root cause of dental anxiety completely varies by person. Some of the most common causes include a fear of pain, fear of injections, and fear of loss of control. Other common causes are general self-consciousness with having someone that close to their face or working on their teeth, and negative experiences at the dentist in the past

How to Handle Dental Anxiety

The first step you can take is talking to your dentist about your dental anxiety. Once they know, then they’ll be able to discuss ways to help you feel more comfortable and will know what to avoid to keep you calm.

Here are some helpful strategies for managing dental anxiety:

  • Have your dentist explain what’s happening before and during every step of the procedure.
  • Ask for breaks throughout your dental appointment.
  • Bring along a trusted friend or family member to sit with you during your appointment.
  • Take advantage of office amenities.
  • Consider sedation dentistry.

Dealing with dental anxiety or phobia? Let us help. Contact Reen Chung, DDS and we’ll figure out some options for helping you feel more at ease at the dentist so you can still enjoy life from behind a beautiful, healthy smile.

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Reen Chung, DDS

Reen Chung, DDS