Whether you are a little bit behind on your dental checkup or you haven’t been to a dentist in years, you may be surprised to know that having fear or anxiety over visiting the dentist is a genuine medical condition. By some estimates, Dentophobia (also called “ondontophobia”) may affect up to 10 percent of the population.
Although studies show that 75 percent of adults experience some degree of fear or discomfort when faced with a dental appointment, true dentophobics tend to avoid dentist visit at all costs, often suffering excruciating tooth pain for some time before finally caving and making an appointment. And by then, invasive treatment is usually necessary, further cementing the patient’s fear.
Overcoming dentophobia is not only essential for your comfort, but also for helping to save you thousands of dollars in dental care. The team at Flordia Dental Implants and Oral Surgery in Lakeland, FL understands dentophobia, but they point out that annual preventive checkups go a long way toward preventing expensive restorative procedures later on. Thankfully, there are a number of proven strategies that can be employed to help alleviate your fear of visiting the dentist.
According to the National Institutes of Health, dentophobia can result from a fear of pain or needles, embarrassment about the condition of the teeth, past traumatic experiences, a general fear of the unknown, and any number of other reasons. Identifying where the roots of your fear lie can help your dentist work with you to come up with an effective plan for making your appointment as anxiety-free as possible.
Dentists have a number of ways in which they help their fearful patients. Your dentist will be happy to discuss various treatment options with you and help you choose the least invasive and gentlest procedures possible, and they’re always willing to help you relax and assist you through the appointment by either giving you a play-by-play of what’s happening or by not giving you a play-by-play.