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Fear of Needles

Worrying about going to the dentist is something that can affect individuals of all ages, with many developing a serious phobia if they do nothing to overcome their fears.

Living with this problem can be extremely difficult, particularly when it gets in the way of leading a normal life.

For example, people who display symptoms of anxiety when faced with a trip to the hospital may put off seeking medical attention for issues that may be severe and cause a lot of pain.

This is similar for individuals who are worried about going to the dentist, as many people leave problems that arise concerning their oral health for a long time – allowing the issue to worse and making it more difficult to treat.

Why are people afraid of needles?

A needle phobia is an issue that can affect patients throughout their entire lives and not only during dental appointments. Some cases can become so extreme the problem impacts many different aspects of a person’s lifestyle.

For example, many people are so worried about receiving an injection they plan their holiday destinations to avoid visiting anywhere that requires the administration of vaccinations before travelling.

Individuals living with this problem are likely to avoid even the most straight-forward dental procedures, making it extremely difficult for even the most patient professionals to carry out any work.

In addition, it is not uncommon for people with a phobia to challenge a dentist’s point of view, while failing to appreciate how tough it is to treat them within a normal practice environment.

The more this type of anxiety impacts on their behaviour and willingness to undergo particular procedures, the harder it can be for an administrator to provide a high standard of care.

For this reason, a phobia of needles is now widely regarded as a very serious condition that requires a collaboration of medical professionals in order to enjoy the best results.

While the level of fear varies between individuals, some people are worried about dental injections in particular, with others are scared of any type of needle.

Modern medicine has seen an increase in the use of the sharp tools for blood tests and the administration of medication, which has seen the issue become increasingly relevant to doctors, nurses, patients and carers alike.

As the extent of the problem becomes increasingly understood, a number of alternatives have been developed to make life easier for people living with a needle phobia. For example, microscission techniques allow some vaccinations to be given without the sharp object.

New products, including the Wand, provide an alternative to traditional methods through the use of a computer-controlled device that releases anaesthetic smoothly and painlessly, with less force than is expected with traditional options.

What are the symptoms of a needle phobia?

This issue is an extremely complex set of personal reactions that can vary between each patient. Therefore, while a pain-free needle may help some individuals, others may still be uncomfortable with this solution.

For this reason, it is important for members of the public to talk at length with their dentist to understand their personal symptoms as best they can and consider what could be done to address this.

Common signs of a dental phobia include severe anxiety at the thought of injections, as well as the avoidance of these procedures. In addition, some people can experience other involuntary reactions including dry mouth, sweating, feeling dizzy and palpitations.

These symptoms are extremely common among individuals living with a phobia and can all contribute to making a patient difficult to treat unless they can find help as soon as possible.

What is the solution?

The simplest way to address this type of anxiety is to work alongside a dental professional in order to better understand the situation and also make attempts to increase their confidence.

In previous years, needles and injections were much more painful because the tool was blunter, but this has changed significantly due to technological advancements that have made it possible for administrators to use a brand new one every time.

A phobia of needles is more common in children than in adults, which means simply explaining the technicalities of the problem may not be enough. Parents should consider developing coping strategies and reaction techniques – such as taking a youngster’s favourite teddy bear along to an appointment – to resolve the issue.

Pearl Dental Clinic is open 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm. You can book an appointment by calling us on 0208 547 9997 or emailing us or booking an appointment online

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