Understanding dental anxiety _ cheryl Hayes Carestream DentalFeatured Products Promotional Features
Posted by: The Probe 5th April 2019
It is estimated that as much as half of the UK population suffer from dental anxiety in some form.[i]This means that millions of people across the UK are likely to come to the dentist feeling anxious, unwilling and even terrified of what may happen. Therefore, it’s important for practitioners to understand these anxieties and do all they can to reassure patients who may suffer from them.
So what are the main triggers for dental anxieties?
Perhaps one of the most commonly stated causes for dental anxiety is trauma derived from a past bad experience. A previous visit to a dentist that has caused pain or which hasn’t solved a problem can easily become the focus of dental anxiety, especially if this fear has been left to grow over time.[ii]
Another leading trigger is fear of pain. For some people the very idea that dental treatment could hurt is enough to put them off – especially if they have read material online of people’s painful experiences, as these may be exaggerated.
A patient may have certain other fears or issues that are exacerbated by a dental practice. For example, those with trust issues may find placing themselves under the care of a professional difficult, as it means they have to relinquish control. Furthermore, anyone suffering from agoraphobia (the fear of feeling like you cannot escape) or claustrophobia may also find dental treatment difficult, especially during processes such as the acquisition of diagnostic images where they are required to stay still.[iii]
What we can do
As you can see, dental phobia is a multi-faceted and complex issue. As every patient is likely to have their own particular trigger points or reasons as to why they feel anxious, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly how to avoid aggravating these fears.
However, It’s important to focus on how to enhance their comfort during treatment. It is likely that anxieties will reach fever point when the individual is called in to see you, and therefore you need to try to make the experience as pleasant as possible.
Investing in equipment that has been designed to enhance patient comfort is a key way to achieve this. The CS 8100 3D imaging system from Carestream Dental is a particularly good choice as it has an open, face-to-face design help to help put patients at ease, and takes images in just 7 seconds.
Their feelings first
Anxieties are difficult to understand but imperative to manage. By using patient-friendly equipment that promotes comfort you can help to alleviate any fears they have, showing them that a visit to the dentist does not have to be scary.
For more information, contact Carestream Dental on 0800 169 9692 or
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[ii]Better Health. Dental Anxiety and Phobia. Link: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/dental-anxiety-and-phobia[Last accessed January 19].
[iii]Better Health. Dental Anxiety and Phobia. Link: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/dental-anxiety-and-phobia[Last accessed January 19].
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