This two-part article series discusses why many patients experience fear and anxiety at the prospect of their bi-annual appointments. People avoid going to the dentist for many reasons. Some just don’t regard it as an important part of their general health care, while others are ashamed of the poor condition their teeth are in. However, the greatest reason people avoid the dentist – the greatest reason by far – is fear. Odontophobia is actually a very common fear, with the majority of all patients experiencing some degree of anxiety when they go for their bi-annual appointment. This anxiety might manifest itself as a mildly elevated heart beat and sweaty palms, or it could bring on a full-fledged panic attack. Some patients have been known to become physically ill at the prospect of undergoing a dental procedure. The question is: why does a visit to the dentist bring on such panic? And why is this reaction so pervasive amongst patients? The cosmetic dentist in Arizona gives us some answers… Arizona Cosmetic Dentists Discuss Patient Fear and Anxiety “The greater majority of patients experience some degree of fear and anxiety at the prospect of an appointment with the dentist because they are told to,” says an expert in teeth implants Arizona. “Perhaps not directly, but we learn about a fear of the dentist from movies, media and from our friends and parents.” This is quite an interesting point to learn; probably because it’s true! Of all the people you know, few actually have a negative story of their own to relate. Most of the time we go for an appointment with the dentist, it goes by without incident, discomfort or pain. It just takes one bad experience and the story gets trumpeted about for everyone to hear. So, instead of just one person being affected by their experience, countless more are made wary and fearful.
“Movies are another source of fear and anxiety for patients,” say the teeth implants expert. “The Dentist 2 is a perfect example of the fear-mongering the media indulges in when it comes to general and cosmetic dentistry.” When you think about it, it’s not hard to be afraid of the dentist or of dental appointments. First of all, your mouth is quite an intimate organ, so you feel very vulnerable sitting there with a masked individual peering into its depths. Secondly, there is an array of rather sharp and intimidating-looking implements within arm’s length of your head. And thirdly, a visit to the dentist could end up with you requiring a needle injection. “Many of the patients I see are terrified of needles more than anything else,” says an Arizona cosmetic dentist. “Once they understand that anesthetic gels can be rubbed on the gums to totally eliminate the pain associated with injections, they become a lot more amenable to treatment!” The Important Message… Whatever the source, there are things you can do to overcome fear and anxiety associated with dental treatments. Oral sedative medications, depending on dosage, can be taken to either take the edge off anxiety or eliminate it altogether. “The important message to remember is that skipping dental appointments is not the answer,” stress cosmetic dentists in Arizona. “You’ll only end up requiring more extensive, invasive and expensive work to fix problems that could have been avoided with regular preventative treatment.”
Stay tuned for the second installment of our two part series in which we will be discussing modern dentistry and pain management.
This two-part article series discusses why many patients experience fear and anxiety at the prospect of their bi-annual appointments.