From a fear of spiders to a fear of heights, nearly everyone has something that causes them anxiety. However, avoiding spiders certainly doesn’t pose any health risks while avoiding your dentist can be very detrimental.
It is estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of dental phobias that cause anxiety and fear – that amounts to approximately 30 million to 40 million people! (Colgate). The causes of dental fear range from worries about the level of pain one experiences while others are simply embarrassed or self-conscious about the state of their teeth. Concerns such as lack of control and fear of the unknown are often enough to keep a person from seeking needed treatment. Even the close proximity between patient and dentist can cause anxiety and prior bad experiences at the dentist can result in future apprehension to visit (Colgate).
By delaying, or forgoing dental care all together, the risk of gum disease and tooth loss greatly increases. As studies have shown, the systemic connection between oral health and overall health is another cause for concern – aside from dental issues arising, heart conditions and lung infections stemming from poor dental health can become exacerbated over time, even life-threatening.
Despite these risks, the level of anxiety many people experience when thinking of visiting the dentist is enough to dissuade them from regular check-ups. At Dental Health and Wellness Boston, helping patients overcome dental phobias is a passion of Dr. Smith’s. We offer anxiety reduction and sedation dentistry techniques to make your dental visit comfortable, and we discuss in detail, our plans for your dental care before any treatment begins. Creating a trusting relationship with our patients is key to providing the best dental care possible, with personalized plans to address any concerns and minimize dental fears that may have hindered oral health in the past.
Dr. Jill Smith is specially trained to help with dental fears and dental phobias, and her compassionate nature and education in psychology make helping people a natural fit for her practice. She recently remarked, “One of the most rewarding facets of my practice is working with patient with extreme fear of dentistry. For many people the thought of going for dental care is so frightening that they avoid seeking treatment even when they are in pain. Years of problems compounded by an associated embarrassment can result in what seems to them as an insurmountable obstacle. What an amazing feeling to be able to regain their trust and enable them to get the smile they deserve! My entire team of compassionate caregivers provides an experience that is supportive, non-judgmental, and pain-free. I have had the pleasure of converting people with severe dental anxiety into loyal ambassadors of dental health.”
If you have a friend, family member or coworker who suffers from a dental phobia, please tell them about our office and our compassionate staff here to help them overcome their anxiety. If you have personally overcome a dental phobia, we invite you to share your success story on our Facebook page.