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Everything You Need to Know About Dental Anxiety and Phobia

Going to a dentist in Hornsby can be scary for a lot of people. Dental instruments like drills, needles or the dental setting in general can cause anxiety. Sometimes severe dental anxiety can turn into dental phobia. But dental care is essential for not just to ensure healthy teeth but to also improve your overall health. This is a serious problem that you can overcome with practice, especially when you work with the right dentist. Reading on, you can learn about everything that you need to know about dental anxiety and phobia.

Understanding Dental Anxiety and Phobia

Dental anxiety is where you feel stress, anxiety, and/or stress when you are in a dental office or setting. This can cause a person to become too afraid of visiting the dentist, which can delay essential treatments for your dental and overall health. A variety of things, including the drills and needles can be a trigger for this anxiety or phobia.

When this anxiety becomes so severe and causes you to feel an irrational fear of the dentist that you avoid going entirely, this issue becomes classified as dental phobia.

Signs and Causes of Dental Anxiety and Phobia

People who suffer from dental anxiety typically experiencing the following symptoms:


  • Low blood pressure and/or fainting

  • Racing heartbeat/heart palpitations

  • In visible distress, showing signs of panic, or crying

  • Withdrawal

People who have dental anxiety/phobia will often miss dental appointments, no matter how simple or complex the dental treatment is.

But what causes dental anxiety? While there’s not one answer that applies to every situation, there are some common causes including:

  • Traumatic experience in a dental setting, or another traumatic healthcare incident

  • Some previous trauma to the neck and/or head

  • Any traumatic experiences, such as abuse

  • Fear of not having any control

  • Generalized depression, anxiety disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Trust issues

  • Anxiety that is associated with such conditions as claustrophobia (fear of closed spaces), OCD, or agoraphobia.

It’s important to know that anyone can suffer from dental anxiety/phobia. Children are better able to eventually overcome this issue with the right support and management of their anxiety. Adults tend to continue to be anxious, but they can cope enough where they can attend dental visits. Having a dentist that is sympathetic to your issue can make this even easier to overcome.

How to Manage Your Dental Anxiety/Phobia

Managing your dental anxiety or phobia can be a challenge. But there are some coping mechanisms that can help you, including:

  • Meditation

  • Deep breathing exercises

  • Using distraction

  • Guided imagery

  • Working with your dentist to come up with a sign when you are feeling too anxious to continue treatment

  • Using a weighted blanket

  • Hypnosis

You can also try working with a psychologist to help you learn coping strategies that can help you get the dental care that you need to be healthy.

Gentle Care Dentistry is a leading Hornsby dentist because of how they can best deal with issues of dental anxiety and phobia. If you have an extreme fear of visiting the dentist, you’re not alone. However, with the right team of dentists you can overcome this issue and get the dental care that you need to be healthy.


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