Conquering Childhood and Adult Dentist Phobia
If your fear of the dentist keeps you from getting treatment for tooth problems, you may be among the 80 percent of American adults who have some form of dental anxiety. Mild dental anxiety can make dentist visits uncomfortable, but if you feel extreme terror or panic at the mention of dentistry, you may suffer from a more serious type of disorder called dentist phobia. Both conditions can lead to periodontal problems, infection, and even tooth loss. Children and women are at higher risk, but dental anxiety can affect anyone.
Causes of Dental Anxiety
Dental fear often starts in childhood after a negative experience, but a recent study conducted by Delta Dental in conjunction with National Anxiety Month in April showed that parents who are afraid of the dentist could unconsciously be passing their dental phobia along to their kids. Among participants, the number of parents who were afraid of the dentist closely matched the number of kids with the same feelings. If you have children, you can avoid instilling fear by addressing your own anxiety and focusing on positive aspects of dental care when discussing it with your kids. Other factors involved in dental fear include post-traumatic stress disorder, fear of needles, embarrassment about teeth, and a history of abuse.
8 Ways to Ease Your Fear of the Dentist
- Find a dentist who specializes in treating anxious patients.
- Practice relaxation techniques such as guided imagery or deep breathing.
- Determine a hand signal to alert your dentist when you’re feeling dental anxiety during treatment.
- Share your dental anxiety with your dentist.
- Ask for a detailed explanation of dental treatments.
- Before your dentist appointment, avoid caffeine and sugar, which may add to dental anxiety.
- Take advantage of distractions provided by the clinic, or bring your own music or media device.
- See a professional counselor for your dental phobia.
4 Types of Sedation Dentistry
Following are typical methods of sedation dentistry used to help prevent and ease dental phobia:
- Sedation with pills
- Nitrous oxide (inhaled) sedation
- IV (intravenous) sedation
- General anesthesia
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Abingdon, call Dental One Associates of Bel Air today at (410) 698-1674 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Abingdon. With 12 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Bel Air, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Bel Air.