One never hears an individual say “I am so excited about my dental appointment tomorrow”. But in some there are varying degrees of fear or discomfort about dental appointments. There is often a reason for this whether is it a past personal experience or the fear is part of others’ tales of bad experiences. Very often though our discomfort comes from a place we don’t think about, that is simply just the feeling of not being in control of a situation.
There are many ways a professional dentist can help no matter the source of this problem. To identify the extent of the fear it’s best to look at different exiting over all levels of anxiety and possible causes.
True dental phobia cases are rare and would be considered the most problematic. The causes vary from bad past dental chair experiences to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from other sources. This last is something often overlooked by the patient themselves unless they are victims of frequent panic attacks in other forums. Severe dental phobia extends so far as to a patient feeling fear and anxiety at even the reminder of the need for dental care and can even impact daily life. This is a serious situation, as there are reports that between 5% and 8% of people in the U.S. alone completely avoid dental care with dire consequences. As we have seen in research for past articles the result of deferred care can entail much more than pain and loss of teeth. Gum disease and the resulting serious infections that now link it to heart disease and stroke are all reasons to address this problem head-on.
While pharmaceuticals, anesthesia or nitrous oxide gas can be of great help to a consenting patient, many of the truly dental phobic patients will need counseling to even get them even that far. Some of the documented cases of this disorder have causes such as a history of abuse of any kind, previous uncaring dental caregivers, humiliation due to negative evaluations or thoughtless remarks, and even what is referred to as “vicarious learning” which can be supplied by a number of sources, from family and friends to media. Unfortunately most cases of true dental phobia are caused by painful dental visits.
However, for patients who can get themselves to the dental office but only have fears in the chair, nitrous oxide gas has proved to be very helpful and the patient can even drive themselves home afterward if no other sedatives are required.
There are also things you can do as a patient to help yourself. One paramount thing is getting the right and qualified professional dentist. By visiting a dental office with skilled dentists, you are sure to receive careful handling and treatment which is likely to reduce your problem. A recommendable dental office of this echelon is the Owens DDS. Dentists in this office offer dental services of no comparable measures; based on skills and professionalism. In Owens Dental Office patients have no reason to worry about their dental appointments. They also maintain a very intimate relationship with their clients through their website https://www.owensdds.com/where they can visit and share their worries and views.
To wrap it all, it’s worth noting that there are many options open to help you with Dental Anxiety. It’s prudent to talk to your family dentist first about his understanding of your issues. Ask appropriate questions and talk about help with pharmaceuticals or gas if you think it will be needed.
Also try some of the self-relaxation techniques available if you have only mild anxiety. You may be surprised how much they can help.