Three Levels of Dental Anxiety
The fear of feeling pain is mostly related to dental procedures. That is why it is common for people to be afraid to go to the dentist because they are afraid of the pain that they think that they are going to feel. Recent studies show that the pain that was previously experienced in dental procedures is “reconstructed” in the patient’s memory. “Pain reconstruction” happens when patients overestimate the pain that they will feel on a dental procedure then realizing that it is not as painful as they thought it is.
Dentistry has benefited with today’s modern technology because they are now using tools and medications that help patients to feel minimal to no pain at all. The public’s awareness of the importance of dental care also helped in the process of letting them overcome their anxiety in dental procedures. However, with all these development and awareness there is still a large number of patients with dental anxiety.
Here is a brief description of the levels of dental anxiety and treatments.
Mild dental anxiety
Mild dental anxiety is present to a patient that has controllable fear of going to a dentist. His anxiety or fear does not prevent him from going to the dentist for a dental procedure. Patients with mild dental anxiety may exhibit irritability and nervousness. The patient may also exhibit a habit of cancelling an appointment to the dentist for him to get away from the procedure even if it’s just for a checkup.
This kind of anxiety maybe treated with an open relationship between the dentist and the patients. The dentist should be more open with the procedure and should find a way to make the patient more comfortable during or before the procedure. Dental sedation can also be used if the patient prefers it. Other dentists are using music as a way to calm down their patient.
Moderate dental anxiety
This kind of anxiety towards dental procedure is difficult to control by the patient. This kind of anxiety is commonly experienced and seen on teenagers who have been on a painful dental procedure before. Patients who have a mild anxiety tends to prevent dental checkups and are having difficulty in sleeping because of the nervousness and uneasiness that they feel for the next day. Very intense irritability, restlessness and sometimes mild shaking of the hands and knees are also symptoms of mild dental anxiety.
Sedation dentistry will be useful for this kind of situation to calm the patient. There are also some anti-anxiety medicines that can be subscribed for the patient prior to the schedule.
Severe dental anxiety
These patents are experiencing a dental phobia and will do anything just to avoid any dental procedure and appointment even if they are already experiencing toothaches. They are completely overpowered by their fear and they will only sick dental help if their well-being is at risk. There are cases that patients with severe dental anxiety has a very serious dental problem that dentists need to do a full denture removal to prevent infections from spreading. For treatment of patients with severe anxiety needs to have an appointment to a psychiatrist to have an anti-anxiety medication as well as to give him counseling for the dental appointment.