Is Dental Anxiety Common?

Is Dental Anxiety Common?

Want to learn more about dental anxiety? It often occurs when patients feel nervous, anxious or afraid of a dental appointment or procedure. While most parents know that it is common for their child to experience anxiety, many of them are curious if their own dental anxiety is common.


Dental anxiety

Outlined below is an overview of dental anxiety, including how common it is.


What does dental anxiety look like?

Dental anxiety can be shown in various forms, depending on the patient. Children who experience dental anxiety often appear to be fearful. In some scenarios, they may throw tantrums or cry out of fear of visiting the dentist. Other times, children may completely shut down, not allowing the dentist to look or work in their mouths.  Adult patients also experience dental anxiety; however, it may be exhibited differently than that of a child. Instead of crying or tantrums, adults may have a panic attack or get extremely nervous. Some adults even go so far as to skip their routine cleanings or examinations because they experience such severe dental anxiety.


How common is dental anxiety?

Many are surprised to learn that both children and adults experience dental anxiety. Parents often attribute their children’s anxiety to fear or immaturity; however, it is likely that it falls under the category of dental anxiety instead. Children can become anxious due to fear of pain or the unknown, which is quite normal.  Additionally, adults experience dental anxiety frequently. Most patients feel anxious about visiting their dentist for procedures that involve dental drilling, extraction or surgery. Some adult patients feel embarrassed to discuss their dental anxiety because they feel as if they are alone, but that is not the case! So many adults experience dental anxiety, and it should never go ignored due to embarrassment.


Managing dental anxiety

Because dental anxiety is so common, dentists and their teams have come up with ways to manage and remedy it. Outlined below are a few dental anxiety management practices.

  • Sedation dentistry can be used for both children and adults; typically, nitrous oxide or laughing gas is used to reduce dental anxiety
  • A family member can sit with both children and adult patients when they are in the chair in order to remedy dental anxiety
  • Music or television shows are often played in front of the dental chairs so both children and adults do not feel as anxious during their appointment or procedure

There are a number of dental anxiety management tools that dentists use. Each person is different, which means their needs may vary. Dentists can evaluate patients to determine what type of resource will be best in remedying anxiety, nerves and fear.


Learn more today!

Dental anxiety is quite common in both children and adult patients, which means there are many ways to overcome and manage it. With the help of a dentist, dental anxiety can be kept at a minimum. Reach out today to learn more or get started with the necessary help! Request an appointment here: https://www.petersmrecekdds.com or call Peter T. Smrecek Jr. DDS Inc. at (949) 759-8606 for an appointment in our Newport Beach office.

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