People that suffer from dental phobia (Dentophobia) may take comfort in the fact that it is a fairly common diagnosable mental condition. At least they know they are not alone and that the medical community takes it seriously.
Phobias like Pteromerhanophobia: (the fear of flying) and Acrophobibia (the fear of heights) can be difficult, but a person can live a perfectly healthy life without getting on a 747 or riding an elevator to the top of the Chrysler Building.
A person who suffers from dental phobia or dental anxiety is at risk of falling into a vicious cycle of worsening oral health.
Fear causes the person to abstain from dental checkups for years. When a minor dental issue (like a little cavity) proceeds until it reaches a nerve and results in pain, the patient is forced to visit the dentist.
At this point, the required treatment is an involved procedure (possibly an extraction followed by a dental implant). The treatment reinforces the dental phobia and, once again, the patient stays away from the dentist’s office. That’s how some people end up losing teeth at a relatively young age.
Experts believe that the rate of dental phobia may be as high as one in four men and women. Are you one of them?
At William J. Stewart Jr. DDS, we want to help uneasy patients successfully overcome or at least manage their anxiety so they can endure twice-yearly checkups and cleanings. Preventive dentistry is the most effective way to protect teeth and gums.
If you haven’t had a dental checkup in a while, please schedule a consultation. You can talk to Dr. Stewart about the many options available including behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, and conscious sedation (sleep dentistry).
If you are terrified about going to the dentist, there is hope. At William J. Stewart Jr. DDS, we have successfully treated many patients just like you. We invite you to request a consultation today.