Getting Smart About Fear of the Dentist
Studies suggest that up to 15 percent of people in the United States avoid seeing the dentist out of anxiety or fear. This includes people who avoid major dental procedures, and it also includes those who avoid even the general dentist and routine cleanings. This can lead to severe oral health issues due to those missed cleanings and the unchecked development of complications. Additionally, dentists may have a more difficulty in treating these patients when they do eventually seek dental care. Missing regular checkups allow minor problems to become major crises, and the only solutions left by the time the patient sees a dentist may be undesirable ones.
What causes dental fear? Most people who avoid the dentist do so because of a fear of pain. Often just the sight of dental instruments, needles or even the dentist or hygienists gives rise to a fearful reaction. Other common reasons for fear include previous bad experiences at a dentist, anxiety about being reprimanded for poor oral health, and uneasiness about the cost of dental care. Further complicating things is the fact that some dentists are not skilled at recognizing or treating dental fear, and many people are not often open about their anxiety. If these people do make it in to a dentist’s office, their fears can be exacerbated if they are not handled well.
How can you overcome your dental fear? The first step is to talk to your dentist. A good general dentist will listen to your concerns and provide several options for alleviating your fear. Some of the best of these methods are sedation techniques. Sedation refers to medications that dentists administer to patients to help relieve their anxiety. The extent of sedation can range from a mild relaxing effect to general anesthesia, and the medications can be given via inhalation, pill or needle.
If you are looking for sedation dentistry in Greenville, NC, help is right around the corner. Give us a call today at (252) 391-9333 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Robert Capps or Dr. Mark Bowman.