Do you feel anxiety when visiting the dentist? While dental anxiety is common, some people feel such intense fear that they avoid their dental appointments altogether. This invariably leads to worsening dental health as the state of their teeth, gums, and mouth deteriorates. There are difference between dental anxiety and dental phobia and how this ominous ailment affects patients’ oral health. Let’s look at this further.
Understanding the Difference – Dental Anxiety, Fear, and Phobia
Before exploring the signs and symptoms of dental phobia, it’s important to know the difference between dental anxiety, dental fear, and dental phobia:
The difference between anxiety and fear is that anxiety is a vague fear that has no specific focus. Most people have some degree of dental anxiety but still go to their appointments anyway with minimal hassle.
Those who have dental fear are afraid of some particular aspect of the dental visit. This could be the metal tools, the loud noises, or even the dentist. Ultimately, the only thing separating dental fear from dental phobia is a willingness to power through and visit the dentist.
When dental anxiety evolves and becomes dental phobia, the individual is too petrified of the dentist to make their appointments. This means no deep cleanings, exams, or oral cancer screenings until they cure their phobia. The longer this persists, the more their oral health will suffer. This can lead to serious dental pain as conditions develop and worsen. Ultimately, patients who put off dental care because of their phobia end up with requiring much more invasive care that would have been unnecessary had they gone the dentist regularly.
Tips for Conquering Your Dental Phobia
People who suffer from dental phobia typically have a specific aspect of the dentist that they’re afraid of – learning what this is and focusing on that, in particular, is crucial in fighting dental phobia. A true dental phobia case may require psychiatric help, but these tips may also help:
- Ask if your dentist offers sedation
- Bring someone who makes you feel comfortable
- Bring headphones to listen to music or a podcast to your appointment
- Ask for a tour the office and to meet the dentist before coming in for care
- Speak with your dentist honestly about your condition
- Bring your favorite blanket or pillow
However you choose to overcome your dental phobia, finding an appropriate solution for alleviating your anxieties so you can receive care is a worthy investment into your oral health. Neglecting the dentist out of fear is not an effective plan for maintaining a healthy smile.
Dr. Jose David Sanchez Can Help Your Dental Phobia
Dr. Sanchez is an experienced dentist who takes pride in offering a comforting experience for patients. He understands the perils of dental phobia, as well as the dangers of avoiding dental treatment. Emphasizing comfort for all of his patients, Dr. Sanchez will work with you to ensure that your dental appointment is as pleasant as possible. Don’t let dental phobia ruin your oral health – Contact us today!