Are you afraid of the dentist? Have you ever put off dental work because of some form of dental anxiety? If so, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that 3 out of 4 people have at least some fear of going to the dentist!
For millions, their fears extend beyond a nervous stomach or apprehension to make an appointment. Studies show that between 9% and 15% of Americans are terrified enough of the dentist that they simply will not go. This can be described as a dental phobia, or an extreme or irrational fear of visiting the dentist.
The truth is, dental anxiety can come in many forms and can be a huge roadblock to your oral health care.
What causes this fear? What are your options? Is overcoming dental anxiety really possible? (Spoiler alert: there ARE solutions that can help!)
What Causes Dental Anxiety?
Dental fear may stem from a number of things, but it should never stop your journey to better health. What factors could contribute to excessive anxiety?
- An overly sensitive gag reflex.
- Fear of needles, drilling, or pain involved in some procedures.
- Previous bad dental experiences.
- Sensitive teeth.
- Feelings of helplessness and loss of control.
- A physical disorder that makes sitting difficult.
- The necessity of complex, or even multiple dental procedures.
Many with dental anxiety simply try this approach: “I’ll just keep brushing my teeth, and never go to the dentist again.”
Unfortunately, this not-so-foolproof plan isn’t a good idea. Avoiding proper dental treatment will likely cause damage to your overall oral health. Plus, you can hardly prevent your wisdom teeth from being impacted by simply brushing your teeth. For these surgical procedures, it is imperative to visit your oral & maxillofacial surgeon.
Dental phobias should never dictate the health and condition of your teeth.
Sedation Dentistry – An Amazing Solution
The good news is there is an amazing solution that patients with dental fear and anxiety have available: sedation dentistry!
Sedation dentistry uses various forms of medication to relax patients for dental work. These range from “minimal” sedation all the way to “deep” sedation.
Sedation dentistry is safe and relaxing, and allows you to feel calm and at ease throughout your entire dental experience. It is even endorsed by the American Dental Association (ADA).
Sedation dentistry brings relaxation back to the dental office, making it the perfect option for those with anxiety.
Say Goodbye to Dental Anxiety Forever
Does ‘no longer’ fearing the dentist seem like a far-fetched fantasy to you? It shouldn’t! Many patients in the Northern Virginia community have overcome their fears when visiting our oral surgery specialist, Dr. M. Timothy Gocke.
Have you ever experienced dental anxiety? What has helped you in the past? Please let us know in the comments below!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.