It’s more common than you think. Nearly 20% of American’s avoid going to the dentist due to a dental anxiety, fear or a phobia. People develop dental anxieties and phobias for many different reasons, but no one is born with a fear of the dentist.
After a short Q&A with our patients we were able to constrict the most common reasons an individual would avoid going to the dentist.
In a survey of people who had not seen a dentist for 12 months, 6% reported fear of pain as the main reason. The fear of pain is most common in adults 24 years and older. This may be because their early dental visits happened before many of the advances in “pain-free” dentistry.
Feelings of helplessness and loss of control
Many people develop phobias about situations — such as flying in an airplane — in which they feel they have no control. When they’re in the dental chair, they have to stay still. They may feel they can’t see what’s going on or predict what’s going to hurt. It’s common for people to feel helpless and out of control, which may trigger anxiety.
The mouth is an intimate part of the body. People may feel ashamed or embarrassed to have a stranger looking inside. This may be a particular problem if they’re self-conscious about how their teeth look. Dental treatments also require physical closeness. During a treatment, the hygienist’s or dentist’s face may be just a few inches away. This can make people anxious and uncomfortable.
Negative past experiences
Anyone who has had pain or discomfort during previous dental procedures is likely to be more anxious the next time around.
If you experience any of the below please don’t hesitate to inform your dentist. They will ensure to properly answer any questions as well as address any and all concerns to help make your appointment to the dentist office a pleasant and comfortable visit.
- Trouble sleeping the night before a dental visit/appointment
- Feelings of nervousness which escalates while at the dental office waiting room
- Crying or feeling physically ill when thinking of the dentist
- Intense uneasiness at the thought of, or actually when, objects are placed in your mouth during the dental treatment or suddenly feeling like it is difficult to breathe
In some cases an individual may need further attention by their primary care doctor. Fortunately, there are ways your dentist can help. There are many types of sedation that can be used to help make your visit comfortable during a dental procedure if needed. Your dentist and their trained team should partner with you to determine the best, most cost-effective and appropriate one for treating you, should sedation be required.
In our office we strive to make your appointment to the dentist office a pleasant and comfortable visit all in a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere. We recently added, soothing spa-like amenities; aromatherapy & essential oils, hot towels, coffee & tea, paraffin wax, neck pillows & blankets, massage dental chairs, as well as nitrogen oxide (laughing gas) and other levels of dental sedation.
No matter how long its’s been since your last dental office visit it’s never too late to take care of your smile. We also believe taking care of your family’s oral health needs through every step of their journey as stress-free as possible. We are here to serve you and your family, and are honored to earn your trust.