Does a pending trip to the periodontist keep you up night? Trust us when we say that you are not alone. Movies and other forms of popular media have, in the past, poked fun at the dental industry by playing on the feelings of helplessness many experience while in the dentist’s chair. While good for the occasional laughs and giggles, such depictions downplay a serious problem inherent with dental care: anxiety. Some may tell you to just get over your fears and endure your dental treatments. We as dental providers know, however, that it is not always that simple. Dental anxiety keeps countless people across America from getting routine dental care. In many cases, that anxiety will often progress into a full-blown phobia. Those who have this phobia list the following reasons as to why they feel their fear is justified:
- Pain: Many of those who suffer from anxiety are old enough to have experienced dental work before pain-free dentistry became the standard of care. Even with the advances made in dental science, people fear experiencing the pains they may have suffered before.
- Embarrassment: It is not easy for adults to admit that they are afraid. Thus, many choose to avoid dental care in order to not be forced into confessing their fears.
- Helplessness: For some, it is not the issue of dental care that concerns them, but rather the prospect of having to totally submit themselves to another in close quarters.