It’s a fact that some people, quite a few actually, have a true fear of the dentist. In fact, some people are so scared to schedule a dental appointment that is really is a phobia.
Both your environment and biology play a part in dental fear. A good example is that if your mom or dad feared the dentist, the chances are higher that you will as well.
According to the American Dental Association, one in five people suffer from some type of dental fear. While some patients show no fear at all, others have such a strong phobia that the fear affects everyday life. That phobia is called odontophobia, which comes for a Greek word meaning tooth.
Of course, people who will not go to the dentist because of fear, also have the worst teeth and gums. Avoiding the dentist at all costs will only make the treatments that much more invasive, which will not only affect a patients well-being, but also their bank account. Waiting until a dental emergency occurs will only make things worse. That simple filling that you put off a couple of months ago may require a root canal while your bleeding gums, that could have been taken care of during the gingivitis stage, may be much worse now that your gum disease has elevated to Periodontal Disease status. Advanced Periodontal Disease may even require surgery.
It would be natural to think that people who fear the dentist would take extra good care when it comes to oral health to avoid dental visits, but research shows that people who have a dental phobia don’t always follow that logic. In fact, that dental fear actually affects a person’s oral health habits. For example, if a person has a massive dental phobia, it may be so severe that it makes them uncomfortable when they brush or floss. People who suffer from toothaches may also find it too traumatic to brush.
If you have a dental phobia, it is important that you locate a dentist who specializes in treating odontophobia. Search the World Wide Web or ask your friends and family members whom they would recommend. Once you have found a dentist, ask these questions to put you more at ease,
Talk to the dentist about your fear
Ask for a preliminary appointment so that you can discuss your fears.
If it’s the position of the chair that scares you, ask if you can be seated more upright
Ask for an anesthetic so that you will not feel anything
Don’t be afraid to ask for more anesthesia
Stop putting off a trip to the dentist and confront your dental fears today by scheduling an appointment with a dentist that you can trust.