It is estimated that approximately 30 to 40 million Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of dental anxiety or dental phobia (fear of dentists). People with dental anxiety have fears that are often greatly exaggerated and overwhelming. Severe dental phobia is a more serious condition, causing those affected to cancel or avoid their dental appointments altogether. Various sedation dentistry techniques can be used to treat those who suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia.
Dental Phobia – Fear of Dentists
Many people who experience dental phobia are hesitant when visiting a dentist. They often have a fear of the office, the equipment, or the dentist themselves. Individuals that suffer from this dental anxiety frequently delay their appointments, hoping to avoid the experience altogether.
Severe Dental Phobia
Dental anxiety can also turn into severe dental phobia, making a dental appointment an overall horrific experience. People with severe dental phobia are terrified and panic-stricken when it comes time to see the dentist and they often avoid the dental appointment completely. If they do force themselves to go, they usually do not sleep the night before or may become sick in the waiting room.
Many patients with severe dental phobia have put off dental treatment for years because of their fear of dentists, resulting in poor oral health. Individuals suffering from dental anxiety or severe dental phobia commonly have infected gums and teeth, severely compromising their ability to chew and digest food properly. Many also lack self-confidence and feel insecure because of bad breath or an unattractive smile.
If you have a fear of dentists, including severe dental phobia or dental anxiety, there are several dental sedation techniques that can help. controlling this condition and obtaining a beautiful, healthy new smile.
Treating Children Who Fear the Dentist
Some children have a deep-seated fear of dentists, making dental appointments a traumatizing experience. However, it is important that children have regular dental checkups. There are tips for dealing with children who have dental anxiety or severe dental phobia, including:
Start dental checkups at an early age, so the child will be comfortable and familiar with dental appointments.
Enforce good oral hygiene, so trips to the dentist are minimal.
Be careful not to convey your fears of the dentist to your child.
Offer kid-friendly environment so its inviting and comfortable for children.
If not addressed during younger years, dental anxiety can develope into severe dental phobia as one gets older. To prevent bad oral hygiene later in life, the above suggestions can work to calm your child’s fear of dentists.
Speak with our dentists about Sedation Alternatives.