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Many kids fear going to the dentist, but some adults have not outgrown this kind of anxiety, much to the detriment of their dental health. Odontophobia, or dental fear, is much more common than you may think. Around 9% to 20% of Americans postpone or cancel their cleanings or exams due to dental anxiety. We are not just talking about nervousness, but a crippling fear that our patients would rather endure tooth pain than get a painless dental procedure. In fact, here at D.A. Dental, we have seen numerous cases where a dental problem escalated and led to a complication that is preventable had the person come to our office sooner.
The Causes and Symptoms of Dental Anxiety
If you or your child is afraid to come into our office for a visit, it is time to get to the root of the problem. Something had to trigger this fear, and unless it is identified, it cannot be overcome. You can always go to a psychologist to identify and work through the problem, but it may take some time. One way our office tries to help is to pinpoint what makes our clients afraid. Most of the time, it is the fear of pain. We assure our clients that we do everything we can to make our procedures as painless as humanly possible.
Another common fear is anxiety about the side effects of anesthesia. This occurs more commonly in older patients rather than our younger ones. We thoroughly explain the medicines and procedures that we perform to our clients to give them peace of mind. Another way we help our clients get over this fear of anesthesia is through patient reassurance and being personable to our clients.
One more cause is the fear of embarrassment, especially for people who have deformities or halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath. We make a point that we are professionals, and their medical records are private and secure. It is better to treat halitosis early while the bacteria population is easily manageable.
How Would You Know If You Have Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety is characterized by the onset of insomnia or trouble sleeping the night before a dental appointment. There will also be symptoms like having an ulcer brought on by nervousness. For children, a small child usually cries at the thought of meeting a dentist or even at the sight of the dental chair.
If you, your friend or loved one is feeling uneasy at the thought of dental procedures or visits that you become physically ill, then you may have odontophobia. This is especially true if you are having some problems with breathing or experience an elevated heart rate at the idea of coming into our office.
One of the best ways to take away dental anxiety is to have a good relationship based on trust with the members of our staff. We are dedicated to building that trust with you and will do so at your own pace; we will never push the issue. Many clients are referred to us by other patients due to the relationships we have nurtured. If you are having problems with dental anxiety, contact D.A. Dental at (774) 374-8295 and allow us the opportunity to see how we can help you overcome your fear.