Did you know between 9% and 20% of Americans have a legitimate fear of going to the dentist? It’s very true, as many avoid going to the dentist due to anxiety or fear. This dental phobia leaves people panic-stricken, terrified, and filled with dread. As with any phobia, most know that it’s irrational, but are unable to overcome it. A phobia causes the individual to avoid the situation in any way possible, which is the worst case when it comes to the health and well-being of your mouth, teeth, and gums. So, how does a dental phobia start and are there ways to overcome this obstacle?
Signs and Symptoms:
The symptoms and signs of phobias usually correlate, but no two are every truly related. If you have trouble sleeping before your dental exam, feel a spike in nervousness when arriving for your appointment, feel physically ill when thinking about your appointment, or have an incredible sensation of uneasiness when the procedure is underway, you most likely have dental phobia.
The causes of this phobia can stem from many sources, including:
- Fear of pain: No one likes to get hurt, and a painful sensation can stop people from doing a lot of activities. This fear could be attached to a previous dental experience that felt unpleasant for somewhat painful.
- Fear of injections: This one ties into the first a bit (needles hurt), but another aspect comes from the medicine injected. Many fear it may not work or the effect will not kick in before the procedure.
- Fear of helplessness: Sitting in a chair, mouth open, and having someone prod around with strange utensils can make someone feel helpless or without control.
- Embarrassment: This one is very simple, but it does take hold of many patients. They feel as if the dentists are judging them, which makes them feel self-conscious.
How to Cope:
The best way to overcome the anxiety and phobia is quite simple. Talk to the dentist and discuss your fears and problems. Ask if sedation dentistry is possible for your appointment. This type of dentistry takes the edge off, usually puts patients to sleep, and makes the entire experience very relaxing. Those within the Plantation or Fort Lauderdale, FL area should contact Sleep Dentists. Schedule a consultation, talk with the experts, understand your problem, find a solution, and get back on track with your oral hygiene.