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How Your Dental Phobia Can Hurt Your Oral Health

March 20, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — demartino_team @ 4:03 pm
a female patient sitting in the dentist’s chair scared while dental instruments move toward her

Dental anxiety is very real, and millions of children and adults are living with it. For decades, dentists tried to find ways to minimize these fears but for many, the choice to forgo necessary care altogether seemed to be the safer option. Nowadays, dental professionals are going above and beyond to create more welcoming and comfortable environments, offer sedation dentistry, and even provide calming amenities to reduce discomfort and fear. Unfortunately, many patients still prefer to take their chances and skip the dentist. This mindset can only lead to worsening oral health problems over time. Before you choose to make the same decision, learn how your dental phobia in Phillipsburg can hinder your smile and what your dentist can do to help.

The Causes of Dental Phobias

Every patient is different, so if the sights, smells, and sounds of a dentist’s office cause you to break into a sweat, it may be that a fear of needles is what keeps your friend dreading their next visit. Some of the most common causes of dental phobia or anxiety include:

  • A traumatic experience with a previous dental or other medical professional
  • Strong gag reflex
  • The fear of not being in control while at an appointment
  • Dislike for others working within your mouth
  • Inability to trust the dentist
  • An individual who already suffers from general anxiety, depression, or PTSD

Researchers have also discovered that 56% of individuals who experienced child dental anxiety developed it as a result of watching how the adults in their lives reacted toward regular dental visits.

How Dental Phobias Can Negatively Impact Your Smile

When dental phobia or anxiety is severe enough, it can lead you to forgo regular care with your dentist in Phillipsburg. Although you may not think skipping one or two appointments isn’t a big deal, it is. By choosing to not receive preventive care, you are putting your teeth and gums at greater risk for decay, cavities, and gum disease. Not to mention, you are also risking your life by not allowing a professional to examine your mouth and facial structure for abnormalities that can be commonly connected to oral cancer.

Checkups and cleanings, dental X-rays, and general preventive services make it possible for your dentist to stop problems before they start. Unless you and your dental professional work together to identify ways to handle your dental anxiety, you can suffer from worsening problems that result in time spending valuable time and money to fix your smile.

How Your Dentist Can Help

Fortunately, your dentist is your greatest ally in this situation. Understanding just how debilitating it can be, they are working overtime to find ways to make appointments easier and more relaxing. From sedation techniques that require oral medication to advanced technologies designed to create a more precise, enjoyable, and painless experience, you’ll soon discover there is no reason to be fearful of seeing your dentist.

Instead of dreading your next dental appointment, don’t be afraid to talk to a member of your team to discuss ways in which you can reduce your anxiety and get the treatment you need.

About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey DeMartino is a dentist in Phillipsburg who graduated from Fairleigh S. Dickinson School of Dental Medicine with his DMD in 1988. Joining his father and future wife in practice at DeMartino Dental Group, he and Dr. Nélida Garcia-DeMartino strive to help patients of all ages overcome their dental anxiety. If you or your child are anxious about your upcoming appointment, don’t hesitate to visit our website or call (908) 859-5260.

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