What is dentophobia and how can it be combatted?

How does sedation dentistry work?

Our office uses sedatives that have been well documented for their safety and effectiveness. The sedation will make the patient drowsy and unaware of the procedure that is being performed What is Dentophobia?

Dentophobia is the fear of dentists. Not that anyone really enjoys coming in to have their teeth looked at but there are some who battle with a crippling fear of the dentist that can stem from a number of reasons. Whether it be the fear of doctors, of pain or of needles, if your dentophobia prevents you from visiting the dentist, the results may be devasting.

Causes of dentophobia

The fear of the dentist is not merely based on coming in to see the dentist alone but usually comprises several factors fuelling the fear and anxiety.

  • There is a fear of the dentist who is often cast into a cold and sadistic light. Negative personal interactions with a particular dentist may make you more prone to this fear
  • The fear of pain which when it came to older dentistry – was entirely understandable. Today dentistry can be performed almost entirely painlessly or will very little amounts of pain but there are some who are sensitive to mouth pain who would fear this type of pain excessively
  • The fear of gagging and a numb mouth. This is usually experienced by people who have experienced choking or difficulty breathing at some point and are afraid that having their mouth numbed will prevent them from being able to breathe or swallow
  • The sounds and smells of the dentist. This is entirely relatable and again more likely to affect those who have had a negative dental experience. The smells of the dental office and particularly the sound of the drill can bring back unwanted feelings of anxiety
  • The fear of needles or the fear of needing to receive an injection in the dentist’s chair

Not visiting the dentist

Dental health varies greatly from person to person, with some going years without seeing the dentist and experiencing little to no dental issues but others may not be so lucky. Some people may be prone to gum disease and decay no matter how many times they floss and clean their teeth. The biggest problem is that tooth decay worsens over time with minute problems that can easily be fixed, gradually resulting in more severe and painful states of decay. A small cavity can easily be filled with little to no pain, but if left unattended, it can lead to broken and rotting teeth that would need more expensive and painful root canal therapy and reconstructive work.

Consequences of bad tooth health

Unfortunately, today the state of your teeth is a rather important factor that can contribute to or affect a great number of areas in your life. Healthy and clean teeth are the norm with rotted and broken teeth becoming somewhat of a stigma. Poor teeth health can affect your dating life, may prevent you from getting certain jobs and can even lead to low self-esteem and social anxiety. Dental problems can also lead to infection which could spread and cause medical illness which will in turn, aggravate any dentophobia. It is a vicious cycle that can end in no good.

Dealing with dentophobia

If your dentophobia is so severe that it is paralyzing, it may be best to first seek help from a trained mental health professional first to help get your fear under control.

From there you can book an appointment at Pittsford Dental Excellence. Our aim is to help our patients have a safe and comfortable experience while receiving phenomenal care. We offer sedation dentistry to patients who have any of the following conditions:

  • Dentophobia
  • Strong gag reflex
  • Difficulty with local anaesthesia
  • Patents who need multiple lengthy procedures
  • Jaw discomfort or issues controlling muscles from prolonged periods of time

Who is not suitable for sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry is not for everyone as it will have to exclude pregnant women, those with sedative allergies, glaucoma, central nervous system depression and resistance to certain medications. If you do not fall under any of those categories, then sedation dentistry may work for you.

though it is not powerful enough to cause total sleep. Once you are sedated, it is possible for the dentist to perform several dental procedures in one visit.

If you are considering sedation dentistry, our staff is happy to answer any questions that you may have. Just call our Pittsford, NY office today at (585) 248-2575 or schedule a consultation to learn more.

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