Dental Anxiety: What It Is, Why It's Dangerous, And How To Avoid It

20 July 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Anxiety is a process in which the brain creates an emotional response to worry, fear, dread and uneasiness. It is not a healthy process at all, and there are many levels of anxiety and it takes your thoughts from healthy to unhealthy in a matter of seconds.  Anxiety can occur in many instances, depending on one's individual situation and fears, and occurs when you're uncertain of an outcome. One such instance is when you have a major dental procedure coming up, such as a root canal or dental implants. Read on to learn more about anxiety, your body and prevention tactics.  

Why Anxiety Is Dangerous to the Body

When you suffer from anxiety, it creates chemicals in the body that cause the degradation of the mind. Ultimately, it promotes disease and pathology. Anxiety is not healthy in any way for you or for anyone else.

If your anxiety has caused you to avoid dental visits and necessary procedures, which had led to poor dental health, it may:

  • Leave your teeth far more vulnerable to toothed decay.
  • Eventually lead to the development of cardiovascular disease.
  • Increase the chance of ADHD developing.
  • Increase the likelihood of serious health problems, such as diabetes, kidney disease, pregnancy complications and Alzheimer's disease.

In terms of an upcoming dental procedure, anxiety is very dangerous because it can:

  • Increase your chances of enduring complications during and after the dental procedure.
  • Increase the likelihood of you suffering from chronic pain, soreness and discomfort.

How to Prevent Dental Anxiety

In a sense, you can't really prevent dental anxiety. However, there are a few things that you can do to help lighten the impact of the anxiety so that it doesn't cause any of the aforementioned issues. Here are a few steps to take: 

  • Make sure that you eat a healthy breakfast or lunch before arriving for your procedure (unless you've been directed not to).
  • Make sure to arrive 15-30 minutes early so that you have time to fully relax your mind.
  • Focus on the outcome of the dental procedure – healthy mouth and smile, great looking teeth, etc.
  • Focus on your breathing and try to avoid tensing up your muscles.
  • Consider taking a handheld music player or a book with you to listen to or read prior to surgery, which may help you relax by distracting you from what's going on. 
  • Feel appreciative and grateful that you have finally taken the necessary steps to do something for yourself that is healthy and will have nothing but a positive outcome for both your personal and professional lives.

The most important thing is that you never forget that you are not alone in a dental procedure, but it is up to you to inform your dentist that you are suffering an unhealthy amount of anxiety from the impending surgery. When you are ready to get dental implants or to undergo any other major dental procedure, a dentist (such as one from Mammoth Spring Dental Clinic LLC) and his or her staff are ready to help you through every step of the process.