As a Downtown Portland Dentist, I understand that dental anxiety and dental phobia are real afflictions that affect millions of people all over the world. However, thanks to modern dentistry and my dental practice in Downtown Portland, you can put your fears aside and relax while your chipped, crooked, or stained smile is repaired and restored. You really can rest easy when you schedule an appointment with my Downtown Portland dental practice.
What is Dental Phobia?
As many as 20 percent of Americans avoid a trip to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. Dental phobia, the more serious of the two, leaves people terrified. People with dental phobias are aware that they are irrational when it comes to their fears but will do anything to avoid a dental checkup. People who suffer from dental phobia will usually only visit the dentist if they are in pain.
Some symptoms of dental phobia include:
- Problems sleeping before a dental checkup
- Feeling nervous on the way to the dental practice
- Feeling nervous in the waiting room
- Feeling physically ill when thinking about a dental checkup
- Intense uneasiness
- Gagging reflex
What are the causes of Anxiety and Dental Phobia?
Fear of pain-The most common reason people avoid the dentist is pain. In most cases, this is brought on by an early experience at the dentist’s office. What most people don’t realize is that modern dentistry has made it possible to experience less painful and even pain free dental treatments.
Fears of needles-Some patients are terrified of needles, especially when they see it going into their mouth. Some fear that the anesthetic won’t work or will wear off during the treatment, while others just hate needles.
Side Effects-Some patients fear the side effects that can occur with the anesthetic, such as nausea or dizziness, while others don’t like feeling numb.
Feeling Helpless-It is quite common for patients to feel like they aren’t in control in the dental chair, especially with an open mouth. Being unable to see what is going on can cause dental anxiety.
Personal Space-Some people are embarrassed during a dental checkup and feel a loss of their personal space. Some don’t like being close to a hygienist or dentists face while others might feel self-conscious about bad breath, gum disease or the appearance of their teeth.
Dental anxiety and dental phobia can actually make things worse. Tooth decay and gum disease will not disappear and if left untreated can cause tooth loss.
Don’t let dental phobia take over your life. I can help you alleviate your fears with restorative and cosmetic dentistry procedures that will change your life. Call or click for a dental appointment with my Downtown Portland Dental Practice today.