Dental Phobia is the fear of dentistry and of receiving dental care. A pathological form of this fear called dental phobia or dental anxiety. This phobia comes in varying extremes. For most, it is simply a nervousness upon visiting a dentist, for others it paralyzes them with fear even thinking about the dentist. Leaving them unable to seek dental care.
Dental phobia can be the serious, often paralyzing fear of seeking dental care. It is believed that almost 50% of the American population does not seek regular dental care. About 15% of all Americans avoid much needed care due to anxiety and fear surrounding the dental experience. This translates to about 40 million people so afraid of dental treatment that they avoid it altogether.
Dental Anxiety comes from many sources, a previous bad dental visit, news stories, or even from your own parents. The end result is, that they neglect to maintain their dental health. This creates even more problems for them. Unfortunately, most dentists are not trained in the psychology and treatment of dental phobia or dental anxiety. Patients with even mild dental phobia require special attention. Most people to this day, still associate dentistry with pain and discomfort. They do not realize there are dentists out there that are trained to minimize unnecessary discomfort during dental work, and listening to their individual needs. These dentists are trained to be more sensitive and diligent towards reducing discomfort.
In terms of your dental health and overall well being, this can have serious ramifications. Dental neglect can lead to chronically infected gums and teeth which can affect your overall medical health, and your ability to chew and digest can be seriously compromised. Without healthy gums and teeth, your speech can be affected as well. Your self confidence and self esteem can be compromised if you are insecure about your breath and smile. This can lead to serious limitations in both your social and business environments.
Most dental care utilizes prevention through maintaining good oral hygiene which allows you to have limited work done and avoid major issues as we get older. Unfortunately, those patients who suffer from dental phobia are unable to visit the dentist for regular care. The end result is pain, discomfort, and ultimately tooth loss.
“Fortunately, Dental Phobia And Dental Anxiety Can Be Overcome.”— Marielaina Perrone DDS