Dental anxiety, fear, and needle phobia are the main reasons why people avoid the dentist and postpone dental procedures. Delaying required or even routine dental care can often magnify problems and lead to serious oral health concerns. There are steps that the right dental team can take, in order to ease a patient’s fear or anxiety of the dentist and their needle phobia. Contact the Phoenix dentist for anxiety at Dental on Central if you are in need of dental care, but avoiding it due to paralyzing fear. We are dedicated to providing our patients with a relaxing and stress-free dental experience. Call us at (602) 266-1776 or reach us online today so we may discuss your treatment options and book an appointment.
Defined as a feeling of fear or apprehension, anxiety is the body’s natural reaction to stress. It can be caused by an event that seems like a disruption to a persons everyday routine or can be experienced long term. While there are short-term feelings of anxiety, there are long-term versions that have different causes and are classified as an anxiety disorder.
Normal anxiety is a feeling that comes and goes with certain life changes, but does not impact your daily life. When it comes to having an anxiety disorder, the feeling of fear may stay with you permanently and can sometimes even be debilitating. As the most common form of emotional disorders, anxiety disorders can affect all ages. According to recent research, women are more likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder than men.
There isn’t one specific test that can diagnose anxiety. An anxiety diagnosis requires a long-term approach, including physical examinations, psychological questionnaires, and mental health evaluations. Tests or scales can be used questionnaires, while physical examinations can include blood and urine tests to rule out any other underlying causes.
Anxiety can come in many different forms and labeled as different disorders, including:
Dental anxiety is exceedingly common, affecting almost everyone who visits the dentist. However, it becomes an issue when anxiety or dental phobia prohibits you from obtaining the oral healthcare you need. The thought of a visit is terrifying and can make prospective patients feel physically ill. Fear of the dentist or dental phobia is an intense and often unreasonable fear of going to the dentist.
The fear of needles is a dental phobia, known as belonephobia. It is an unreasonable fear of needles, creating an altered response. Prior to any dental procedure, patients can experience high blood pressure and an elevated heart rate. This can occur hours or even days before the appointment.
Some patients with needle phobia may have a hypersensitivity to the pain caused by them. When a needle is injected, blood pressure may drop rapidly, causing the patient to faint.
After being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, it’s important for patients to explore all of their options for treatment. Treatment for moderate to severe anxiety can be dealt with using medication or psychotherapy. Scheduling time with a therapist or psychologist can allow for the patient to have a safe space to confide in a trusted professional. Medication, in the form of antidepressants and sedatives, can also be used in conjunction with therapy. Prescription medication works to balance brain chemistry and lessen the more severe symptoms.
For some people, medical treatment may be unnecessary or unwanted. They may prefer to take a more natural approach, which can include meditation, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, getting enough sleep and exercising.
One in eight children will experience some form of anxiety. While some anxiety is considered normal and most will develop skills to calm themselves, some children will experience chronic and persistent feelings that will turn into a full-blown anxiety disorder. If left untreated, this can progress into their teenage years and lead to extreme shyness, avoidance, and poor performance in school. The key is to get a diagnosis early in order to prevent anxiety from dominating the most formative years of their lives. Early symptoms of anxiety in teens and children include:
Gradually exposing a fearful patient to the dentist’s office may also be a solution. Allowing patients to drop-in before an appointment can help alleviate their fear and anxiety. If a lack of control is the main cause of anxiety, dentists can be sure to explain each step of a procedure before or as it is happening.
When you choose an understanding dentist for anxiety, getting the dental care you need won’t be as scary anymore. Our team of Phoenix dentists for anxiety care for our patients with the utmost concern for their fear, anxiety, and needle phobia and are invested in providing enjoyable and relatively pain-free dental treatment. Call us today at (602) 266-1776 or fill out our contact form online to schedule an appointment.