Posted on: November 11, 2014
Understanding and Treating Dental Anxiety
Given its prevalence in popular culture, the concept of worrying about having to go to the dentist is something just about everyone is familiar with. Even those who do not suffer from dental anxiety themselves likely know someone who has serious fear when it comes to even routine office visits. The truth is that not all dental anxiety is created alike, and in order to successfully conquer a case of nerves, it is important to distinguish between anxiety, fear, and phobia and then pursue treatment options accordingly.
Many people use the terms dental fear, dental anxiety, and dental phobia as though they were interchangeable phrases, but it is not entirely accurate to do so. While these concepts may have numerous similarities in that they describe a spectrum of reactions to dental treatment and care, there are clear differences that need to be understood in order to address them successfully.
The term anxiety is properly used to describe a general sense of discomfort about things and situations that are unknown. Those facing dental anxiety may be able to conquer their issues by consulting with a dentist trained in communicating with and accommodating the needs of fearful patients.
Phobias are rightly described as being extreme and largely irrational responses to defined situations or circumstances that the sufferer views as being threatening to their well-being. Patients battling dental phobia may have visceral reactions to the sound of drilling, the anticipation of pain or discomfort, or some other part of the dental care experience that elicits intense feelings of fear. Dental phobia can be trickier to treat than dental anxiety, and intervention by a mental health professional may be required.
Fortunately, innovations in the dental field have led to the creation of sedation dentistry clinics and dental spas that specifically accommodate patients interested in maintaining proper oral health, but who find it difficult to conquer their anxiety. Dental spas offer a full menu of treatments and amenities meant to foster relaxation and comfort, such as massage, reflexology, and refreshments. Those with lingering dental fear may want to explore the option of sedation or sleep dentistry to get the dental care they need without the paralyzing sense of fear. Consulting with an affordable dentist who is attuned to dental anxiety is an ideal first step.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Virginia, call Dental One Associates of Virginia today at or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Virginia. With 6 affiliated practices throughout Virginia, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Virginia, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Virginia.