Just like any other fear – of snakes, heights, flying, etc. – dental anxiety is a very real condition. Being afraid of the dentist makes some people avoid seeing the dentist entirely. This choice nearly guarantees poor oral health and, as a result, a greater need for urgent dental care. The right Johns Creek dentist understands each patient’s unique needs and offers gentle care and kindness. You don’t have to be afraid of the dentist anymore.
Why People Are Afraid of the Dentist
While most people can avoid the elements or experiences that make them fearful, the dentist cannot and should not be avoided. One of the first steps to conquering – or at least managing – your dental fear is to understand where it comes from:
- Did you have a bad experience at the dentist as a child?
- Do you fear pain?
- Are you uncomfortable about someone’s hands being in your mouth?
- Do the clinical environment and dental tools frighten you?
- Do you have a strong gag reflex?
- Do you think your teeth can’t be fixed?
- Are you embarrassed about the state of your oral health?
- Are you anxious about what might be necessary to fix your damaged teeth?
It’s also important to identify your condition – do you have dental anxiety, or is it a dental phobia? Anxious dental patients may not enjoy their dental visits, but they do it reluctantly for the good of their oral health and overall well-being. Dental-phobic patients, however, experience unreasonable and intense fear of their dental visit from start to finish. The phobia is so pervasive that they are likely to avoid the dentist entirely – and that can lead to decay, gum disease, pain, and more.
What Will Happen If You Don’t Go to the Dentist
The consequences of avoiding the dentist can be brutal. When you develop an oral health problem, it never fixes itself. You need the help of a dentist to address your broken, cracked, worn, old, discolored, or painful teeth. Without professional care, your oral health will deteriorate quickly, even if you maintain a diligent brushing and flossing routine at home.
- You will have excess plaque and tartar build-up which will develop into decay.
- You will have no chance at early diagnosis of gum disease or oral cancer.
- Poor oral health care can lead to tooth loss, abscess, sensitivity, and painful infections.
- You will become self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth, which can affect your life personally and professionally.
The Salve for People Who Are Afraid of the Dentist
The stress or anxiety that you feel about a dental visit is legitimate, and it is not to be ignored. At your Johns Creek dentist, sedation dentistry makes it possible for even the most fearful patient to get the oral health care they need.
Many people mistakenly believe that sedation dentistry is only for patients undergoing major dental procedures. That is not the case. If you are in overall good health, sedation can be an option for any dental work, even just a routine cleaning. The most important thing is to get your feet in the door.
There is hope for your smile. Gum disease can be reversed. Receding gums can be repaired. Lost teeth can be replaced. Dark teeth can be whitened. Crooked teeth can be aligned. And you can “sleep” through it all. Visit our team of gentle dental professionals at Hello Family Dental in Johns Creek. Dr. Patel is trained and licensed to administer oral conscious sedation through a pill taken orally or through laughing gas. Contact us to talk about your fears and what can be done to ease your anxiety.