Facing Dental Fears: Worrying About the Appointment is Worse than the Actual Experience
Scared of having dental work done? We understand. In a survey by the British Dental Health Foundation, 36% of those who didn’t regularly see a dentist did so out of fear. Dental anxiety and phobia can interfere with having a healthy, pain-free mouth and restoring your smile. While some dental anxiety is normal, there’s a level of anxiety or phobia about dental treatment that afflicts about 9-15% of the population which causes sufferers to avoid all dental treatment.
Anxiety and phobia are different. Dental anxiety is accompanied by unfounded fears or worries about the dental appointment. A dental phobia is more intense and causes feelings of dread, terror or panic. In both cases patients will tolerate gum disease, pain and broken teeth to avoid dental care. Since oral health can have a profound effect on overall health – particularly cardiovascular health – it’s imperative for anyone with these conditions to find a dentist who can put them at ease.
Dr. Pete has over forty years’ experience treating patients and in that time has learned and developed techniques for reducing pain and putting patients at ease. Fear creates tension, which makes a procedure more uncomfortable than it should be. Having an experienced dentist that you can talk to who understands the reasons why someone avoids dental treatment and who can work with you, can make a significant impact on your dental and overall health.
One of the most frequent comments we hear from patients with dental anxiety or phobia after treatment is: “That was a lot easier than I thought it would be!”
If you have anxiety or fear that has prevented you from getting the dental care you need, let us know when you schedule your appointment. That way, we can make sure Dr Pete and our hygienist has time to discuss this with you prior to treatment.
You can also find information and tips at Dental Fear Central, such as lists of common fears pertaining to dental treatment.