Do you suffer from dental phobia? There mere thought of getting examined by a dentist can cause many people anxiety. Even though most dental visits aren’t painful, it still can feel like an invasive experience that gives patients stress and they may avoid seeing a dentist until an issue becomes too much to handle.
In fact, it is estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans have such a strong dental phobia that they avoid a trip to the dental office. They would rather suffer with unnecessary oral pain and discomfort. The terror they feel takes control. This can lead to further self esteem issues due to living with embarrassing things like gum disease, tooth loss etc.
Recognizing the Need for Help
Avoiding a dental check-up and living in fear isn’t going to do any good. It is helpful to know that there are treatments for this kind of phobia. It is also helpful to recognize what causes this fear to begin with. Here are a few examples of what has people shaking in their boots at the very thought of a dental check-up:
- Fear of pain. This includes the fear of needles used to freeze the mouth. If a patient has had a painful experience in the past, they will be more likely to avoid the dentist in the future.
- Embarrassment. Dentists are getting up close and personal with the inside of your mouth.
Dentists recognize the need to help these patients and develop a safe, comfortable environment for them. According to Web MD, one specific dental office does just that. It is hardly recognizable as a dental office. They go as far as having a treatment room overlooking a waterfall and do not place gum disease posters on the walls. Instead of wearing scrubs, the dentist at this office wears fancy attire.
There are other tips in order to ease the fear and anxiety such as being accompanied by a close friend or relative, listen to music whilst sitting in the chair, focusing on controlling your breath and other relaxation techniques. Lastly, if these suggestions don’t feel like they could work for you, see a psychologist. They have tried and true methods of treating phobias that could be of big help in getting you back in that dental chair.
Dental phobia for the most part is not completely valid. A dental visit is not necessarily going to be painful and drawn out. In fact most of the time patients are seeking to relieve the pain they are already experiencing due to gum disease, tooth aches caused by various reasons, etc. The longer a person waits around with serious oral issues, they worse they will get. It is important to let the dentist keep an eye on your mouth and treat anything that may need attention.