Did you know that 9% to 15% of people living in America avoid their dentist because of anxiety and fear? That comes to about 30-40 million people! If you are one of those unlucky few that suffers from dental phobia, we are here to help.
Dental anxiety vs. Dental Phobia
Patients with dental anxiety will feel uneasy when it is time to come in for a dental visit. They may experience exaggerated fears or worries. Patients with dental phobia are actually terrified and panicked, and often put off seeing the dentist for years, or until they are in pain, and often end up with gum infections and broken or disfigured teeth because of this intense fear.
What makes people fear their dentist?
The most common factor seems to be pain. This is most common with adults over 24. Patients may imagine that the procedure will hurt. People also fear needles, and may be concerned that the injections will hurt. They may also worry that the anesthetic will wear off before the treatment is finished.
Feeling a loss of control. People have to sit still in the chair while they are being treated, and they may feel that they don’t know what to expect next, exacerbating helplessness.
Self-consciousness is another factor. Opening your mouth while the dental professional is examining you is a personal and up close experience, and revealing the state of your teeth can feel embarrassing if they are unsightly.
History is another factor. If you have had negative experiences in the past in the dental chair, you may be remembering this and have the same expectation for future treatments.
You may be dental phobic if you experience these symptoms:
–Are you unable to sleep the night before a dental exam or checkup?
–While waiting in the dental office before your appointment, are you increasingly nervous?
–Does thinking about dental instruments make you want to cry? Does seeing the white coat of your dentist increase your anxiety?
–Do you literally feel sick then you think about a dental visit?
–When a dental professional place instruments in your mouth, do you have trouble breathing or panic?
If any of these symptoms describe you, rest assured you are not alone, and there is nothing “wrong” with you. Dr. Rai and his dental team want to help you have the best experience possible. Let us know in advance of an appointment that you are experiencing these fears, and we will do everything we can to help alleviate your anxiety. We will help you feel comfortable and relaxed in the chair, we will make sure that your procedure is as pain-free as possible, and we will explain what is going to happen next so that you will know what to expect.
Please don’t let dental phobia or anxiety keep you from the smile you have always wanted. Your oral health is important to your self-confidence and your overall health, and you deserve to have a healthy smile. Call our office today if you are ready to make an appointment, and let us know your concerns. We will be happy to prepare you for the best dental experience of your life!