We’ve covered a lot of information in our blogs here at Same Day Implants, covering everything from periodontal disease and its prominence in the United States to the benefits of same-day dental implants. However, all of this information may be useless if you have something called dental phobia. Dental phobia is defined as an irrational fear of visiting an oral health specialist such as a dentist, periodontist, or orthodontist. Although this condition manifests itself differently for everyone, it all has one result: it prevents people from getting the treatment they need to stay healthy. Here at Same Day Implants, our doctors stress the importance of visiting the periodontist regularly, especially later in life when periodontal disease is more prevalent. Keep reading to learn more about reducing or eliminating dental phobia.
What Is Dental Phobia?
Dental phobia isn’t simply a concept or a theory, it’s an actual condition that affects between 9 and 20 percent of Americans. A similar condition called “latrophobia” is a more general term referring to the fear of all doctors. When someone has dental phobia, they will often put off much needed oral health appointments or treatments for months or even years. And when it does come time to go to an oral health specialist, they often feel overwhelming anxiety or fear of going. This is caused by several things.
Fear of pain
Probably the most common reason for dental phobia is the fear of experiencing pain. Although we all, in some shape or form, experience a fear of pain, someone with dental phobia will avoid seeking treatment as a result.
It’s not uncommon for people to avoid the dentist or periodontist because they don’t like their personal space invaded. Some people are comforted by the fact that a trained medical specialist will be helping them, but others do not feel this comfort, even if the doctor is highly qualified.
Fear of disapproval
Many people believe that if their dental specialist finds anything wrong, they will be scolded for their lack of care. Although this could certainly happen depending on the doctor, it’s pretty uncommon, and most dentists and periodontists just want what’s best for your health.
What Can Be Done About It?
Although dental phobia may seem like something that can never be overcome, that is certainly not the case. For most people, it’s just a matter of realizing that it’s not a big deal and that even for the most serious of cases, dental specialists have tried and true sedation methods that will alleviate any pain.
Identify what your fear is
Before you can eliminate your dental fear, you need to understand what exactly is causing it. Simply thinking about it and understanding the root cause of your fear will help you figure out the best way to deal with it.
Choose a qualified dental specialist
The more research you do on your dentist or periodontist, the more comfortable you will feel going in for your first appointment. Be sure to read as much as you can about your doctor and read plenty of reviews to see what kind of experience people had with them.
Don’t go alone
Sometimes all you need to overcome dental phobia is a good friend at your side. Not only is it proven that having a friend near you during a hard time is comforting, but if you try to back out last minute, you’ll have someone to motivate you.
Understand your sedation options
Another great way to ease your anxiety is to understand all of the sedation options available to you. Most dentists and periodontists offer sedation for their more complicated procedures. However, if you’re feeling particularly anxious about your treatment procedure, they will gladly speak with you about any additional sedation you can use, even if it is a smaller and less intrusive procedure.
Focus on the positive
Although it may be easier said than done, try focusing on the positives. It can be easy getting caught up in thoughts about what could go wrong, but instead, think of how much the treatment will help you and improve your oral health. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about!
Consult with your doctor
If the issue becomes bad enough, you may want to consult with your doctor. Although it is normal to experience some anxiety before a dentist’s office visit, it should not be overwhelming. Your may be experiencing systems of general anxiety disorder and may benefit from medication. If you do end up taking medication, be sure to notify your oral health specialist of this.
Here at Same Day Implants, we understand that the thought of getting a dental implant can cause anxiety. Speak with us today and we’ll be glad to discuss our sedation options with you.