The Causes of Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia Are Rooted in Fear
Fear of Dentists is No Joke
Understanding Dental Sedation - Oral, IV and Conscious Sedation
It's one thing to follow the flock and say you hate going to the dentist because it makes for good small talk. It's quite another to have a bona fide case of dental anxiety or dental phobia. How to tell a poser from the real deal? Do some palm reading. Just talking about a dental visit can be enough to trigger sweaty palms for someone who has dental anxiety. And a person with dental anxiety or dental phobia won't mince words. Because both dental anxiety and dental phobia are real. So real that people avoid going to the dentist for years. The important thing to remember is that if you have dental anxiety (or dental phobia), you have options. Dental treatments like dental conscious sedation and dental oral sedation help make patients with dental fear feel comfortable and relaxed. And laser dental technologies aren't just cool new toys for dentists; they also minimize discomfort and reduce treatment time!
Q: Is dental anxiety common?
A: Yes. The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine estimates that about 15 percent of Americans suffer from some form of dental fear or dental phobia. Dental anxiety doesn't affect just adults; children experience it too. The effects can range from feeling mildly nervous about dental visits to getting sweaty palms and a racing heartbeat. Sometimes dental anxiety can be so severe that it prevents people from seeing a dentist for years.
Q: Should I talk to my dentist about dental phobia?
A: First, it's important to distinguish between dental anxiety and dental phobia. Dental anxiety describes a general uneasiness about dental visits. Dental phobia describes an intense fear or dread. That said, dentists understand that sitting in a dental chair with lights shining in your face and your mouth hanging wide open can provoke feelings of helplessness.
Making your dentist aware about your dental fear can only help your dentist provide the best possible care. Your dentist may have advice or a dental phobia treatment designed specifically to ease your discomfort.
Q: What can I personally do to ease dental fear?
A: At-home meditation and relaxation techniques can help ease dental anxiety as well as simple distractions like using headphones during treatment. Look for dental offices that offer plenty of activities to help ease dental phobia in children. It's especially important when it comes to a child's dental fear that parents avoid using words like "hurt," "pain" and "scared."