Dental anxiety: what is it?
Dr. med. dent. Nicolette Sparl has been dealing with the topic of “dental anxiety/dental treatment anxiety” for many years.
“We receive calls almost daily from people who have not had dental treatment for years. The reasons for this are as individual as the people themselves. We often receive reports of palpitations, trembling, nausea and general malaise. The symptomatology of dental anxiety/dental treatment anxiety is varied. It is also stated that the short waiting time and the office atmosphere, the smell of disinfectant – can be a trigger for a panic attack or ensure that patient:inside then spontaneously decide against treatment. For this kind of fear, acceptance is needed first and foremost. I want to convey to my patients that they can be afraid, but that they don’t have to be. By talking to them before the treatment, I try to find out whether they actually have a fear of dental treatment or whether the reasons for it are related to the anesthetic injection, for example. This is not always easy, especially because it requires the complete trust of the patient. Many patients find it difficult to talk openly about their fears, although this is very important in terms of dental health. If I, as a dentist, know that my patient, who is currently lying in the dental chair, is afraid, I can use various mechanisms that can help to alleviate the fear. Hypnosis or acupuncture can help in this anxiety situation – for many patients, a calming conversation or the knowledge that my entire practice team and I are trained for anxiety patients is often enough. It is important to know that you are not alone with this fear. Many people are affected by it. Do not let your fear stop you from making an appointment with the dentist! With each dental treatment, you can additionally chalk up a sense of achievement and going to the next treatment will be a little easier for you. Your teeth will thank you for it.”