Do you avoid the dentist because of anxiety and fear? Fear of the dentist affects about 40 million Americans and can have a devastating effect on your oral health. Dental visits are vital for maintaining strong teeth, and when you skip those then you miss out on their numerous benefits. Why let the perils of dental phobia cause your oral health to suffer? Let’s make 2017 the year that we conquer our dental fears and regain control over our oral health.
Is Dental Phobia a Real Ailment?
Dental phobia is a real medical ailment that keeps about 40 million people from going to the dentist. Skipping out on the dentist prevents you from getting exams, deep cleanings, and other dental procedures. In addition, oral cancer is a disease that is only fatal when caught late, but your dentist can detect it in its earliest stages. When dental phobia causes you to skip out on the dentist, it puts your overall health at risk.
I’m Anxious About the Dentist – Do I have Dental Phobia?
Many people have some degree of anxiety about dental visits, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they suffer from dental phobia. Dental phobia develops when this anxiety is so severe that it prevents the patient from attending their bi-annual dental visits. Patients with dental phobia can not be reasonably convinced to go to the dentist due to an inflated fear of some aspect of the experience.
What’s there to be Scared of at the Dentist Office?
Multiple patients with dental phobia may have completely different reasons for the disorder. When fighting dental phobia, it helps to understand the exact source of your fears.
Here are common reasons people may be afraid to go to the dentist:
- Fear of the dentist themselves
- Fear of needles involved in anesthesia
- Fear of metal tools in your mouth
- Fear of common dental noises
- Fear of dental equipment and tools
- Past negative dental experiences
Finding the Source of Your Fear
Depending on the specific source of the fear, it may be best to address the specific issue that is causing it. For example, if the fear is based on the dentist themselves, then perhaps meeting the dentist and seeing that they’re a friendly person will help alleviate your phobia. If the fear is of the dental equipment, then maybe a precise explanation of what each dental tool is used for will eliminate their anxiety. Finding the root of your fear can help you put an end to dental phobia.
Overcoming your Dental Phobia
If you or a loved one suffer from dental phobia, know that it’s a disorder worth fighting. With every missed dental appointment, your oral health suffers, and this leads to added expenses and pain in the long run. Here are some ways people commonly fight dental phobia:
- Bring comforting items like a blanket or pillow
- Listen to your headphones – Music or a podcast can be a welcome distraction
- Practice meditation or Yoga before your visit
- Consider therapy or hypnotherapy if your phobia gets worse
- Invite someone to the appointment who helps you feel confident
Dr. Spadafora Can Help You Conquer Your Dental Fear
Patients near Hermitage, PA can count on Dr. Dale F. Spadafora for their dental care needs. Once you meet him, you’ll see that he’s a friendly, professional dentist who takes pride in restoring his patients’ smiles. Combined with our passionate staff, you’ll feel comfortable in our office. Don’t let dental phobia ruin your smile – contact Dr. Spadafora today!