Nobody really looks forward to going to the dentist, and most of us are relieved when the appointment is over, but some people suffer from far more deep seated phobias that can prevent them from visiting a dentist altogether. It is estimated that anywhere between 9% and 15% of the population will actively avoid seeking help for dental problems until they are experiencing a lot of discomfort or pain.
Is There a Difference Between Dental Anxiety and Phobia?
Yes, as people with dental anxiety can often manage to keep it under control for long enough to receive essential dental care. Dental phobias are more intense, and people with this phobia can often feel terrified about visiting the dentist. Someone with a dental phobia is more likely to suffer from dental diseases and tooth loss, and this can negatively affect general health. Clinical studies have linked poor oral health to numerous general health conditions.
What Causes Dental Phobia and Anxiety?
Anxiety and phobias can arise due to a number of different factors. Feeling helpless in the dental chair can be more than some people are able to cope with, while others are afraid of pain or are simply embarrassed over the state of their teeth. Some people have had negative experiences in the past, or will have had dental phobias and anxiety passed on to them by their parents.
Your Dentist Can Help
If you do experience anxiety or have phobias over visiting the dentist then talk to your dental clinic about your concerns. Modern dental care is designed to be non-threatening, and sedation techniques can enable even the most nervous patient to receive dental care; there is certainly no need for dentistry to be painful or upsetting. You will find your dentist is sympathetic towards patients who feel nervous or anxious, and there are lots of different techniques that can be used to help you feel more at ease and more in control. Gentle dental care can be provided at a pace you’re comfortable with, helping to restore your oral health.