Being afraid to visit the dentist, ironically, can increase your need to go to the dentist. People with dental phobia are more likely than the average person to have one or more teeth with cavities and also have more missing teeth. Dental phobia is an abnormal, intense fear or dread of visiting the dentist for preventative routine care that can last for years or decades.To avoid going to the dentist, the phobic person will put up with missing teeth and other dental problems because the thought of a dental visit is terrifying. In fact, they’ll do just about anything to avoid a dental appointment.
People with dental phobia have a higher risk of early tooth loss and gum disease. Although there are varying degrees of dental phobia, avoiding the dentist may trigger emotional costs as well. Damaged, discolored, or missing teeth can make people self-conscious and insecure. They may smile and speak less. They might even become so embarrassed about how their teeth appear that their personal and professional life begins to suffer. The loss of self-esteem is insurmountable.
A dental phobic may also suffer poorer health in general, partly due to the potential life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and lung infections, and having a debilitating dental phobia exacerbates each health problem. The extreme for this person is that they may never visit a dentist at all. They are so terrified and panic-stricken, they actually get sick while they’re in the waiting room. For a patient with missing teeth, this can impede their chances of ever receiving treatment.
Causes of Dental Phobia
People develop dental phobia for all different sorts of reasons, yet a few common themes emerge, including:
- Feelings of helplessness and loss of control
- Negative past experiences
Symptoms of Dental Phobia
The fear of having dental work can be overcome with treatment of the phobia.ome of the signs of dental phobia include:
- Feeling tense or having trouble sleeping the night before a dental exam.
- Getting increasingly nervous while you’re in the waiting room.
- The thought of a dental visit makes you physically ill.
- Dental instruments and the white-coated personnel make you feel like crying, and it increases your fear.
- You panic or have trouble breathing when objects are placed in your mouth during a dental exam.
When you have gaps in your smile and your fear of the dentist go hand in hand, the avoidance of fixing your missing teeth increases. If you need dental implants or other tooth restorations, treating your dental phobia may be first and foremost. There’s no need to suffer any longer. Finding a compassionate dentist who understands your hesitations is why we at Gentle Dentistry can help. Dr. Spector and his caring team of dental hygienists will work with you to understand your dental phobias and restore your smile. Give us a call to learn more and transform your life forever!