Did you know that 9% to 15% of people living in America avoid their dentist because of anxiety and fear? That comes to about 30-40 million people! If you are one of those unlucky few that suffers from dental phobia, we are here to help.
Dental anxiety vs. Dental Phobia
Patients with dental anxiety will feel uneasy or nervous when they need to come in for a dental visit. They may experience exaggerated fears or worries.
Patients with dental phobia become terrified and panicked, willingly putting off seeing the dentist for years or until they are in pain, ending up with severe issues with gum infections or broken or disfigured teeth.
What makes people fear their dentist?
The most common factor is fear of pain. Typical for adults over 24, these patients worry that the procedure will hurt. Since most people fear needles, they may be afraid that injections will hurt or that the anesthetic will wear off before the treatment is completed.
Feeling a loss of control is also high on the list. During treatment, patients need to sit relatively still in the chair or they may feel that they don’t know what to expect next, increasing their feeling of helplessness.
Self-consciousness is another component in dental anxiety. Opening your mouth while your dental professional is examining you is a personal and up close experience. Revealing the inner workings of your mouth can cause embarrassment if you feel it is unsightly.
Patient history is another factor. If one has had a negative experience in the past, they may be remembering this and have the same expectation for future treatments.
You may suffer from dental phobia if you experience the following:
–Unable to sleep the night before a dental exam or checkup.
–Increasing nervousness while waiting in the dental office before your appointment.
–Wanting to cry when thinking about dental instruments.
–Increasing anxiety upon seeing the white coat of your dentist.
–Feeling sick when you think about your upcoming dental appointment.
–Having trouble breathing or panicking when a dental professional places instruments in your mouth.
You are not alone if you experience these symptoms! Dr. Stella Carollo and her team want to help you have the best experience possible. We offer sedation dentistry to help you relax and feel comfortable in our skilled, caring hands. Depending on your treatment, you can relax during the procedure with nitrous oxide sedation or anesthesia administered by an anesthesiologist.
Your oral health is important to your self-confidence and your overall health, and you deserve to have a healthy smile. Call our office today at 718-224-4000 if you are ready to make an appointment, and let us know your concerns. We will be happy to prepare you for the best dental experience you have had yet!