If the idea of going to the dentist makes you feel scared or anxious, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that about 30-40 million Americans suffer from varying levels of dental anxiety, as measured by Corah’s Dental Anxiety Scale.
But why are people so afraid of dentists? While some people are afraid of all doctors (Iatrophobia), a fear of dentists alone is comparatively rare.
In this article, the team at New Image Dental will look at the primary causes of dental anxiety, and we’ll discuss how Dr. Leslie Strommer and Dr. Scott Strommer can help you overcome them to get you the help you need.
Lack of Control
A severe lack of control is likely the most common cause of dental anxiety. When you’re sitting in the dental chair during a teeth cleaning or an oral procedure, it can induce an immobile or trapped sensation. This can be extremely anxiety-inducing, especially during a more intensive procedure.
Dental anxiety caused by lack of control can be easily handled by using sedation dentistry techniques like laughing gas, alongside an informative, patient-centric approach to dentistry. For example, if patients have dental anxiety, Dr. Leslie Strommer and Dr. Scott Strommer can inform them of each action that will occur during a procedure and get the subject’s approval beforehand. This increases feelings of control and reduces anxiety.
Unpleasant Sounds and Smells
If the sound of a dental drill whirring or a dental pick scraping your teeth makes you feel queasy, you may have sensation-based dental anxiety. Unpleasant sounds and smells associated with the dentist’s office prompt this.
Typically, oral sedation or laughing gas can be used to overcome this anxiety. Other methods include using headphones to play music and providing earplugs or nose plugs to patients.
Fear of Pain
A frequent cause of dental anxiety is the fear of pain. Your teeth are extremely sensitive, and if you’re afraid of anesthesia or numbing agents failing to work correctly, you’re likely affected by dental anxiety that’s caused by this fear.
This type of anxiety can be extremely severe. Usually, it is treated with oral sedation dentistry, but in extreme cases, IV sedation can be used to further reduce consciousness levels and mitigate the fear of discomfort.
Vulnerability and Embarrassment
Your mouth is an intimate place. The idea of someone else rooting around in it may understandably give you anxiety. This is especially common among patients who have avoided the dentist for a while. They may be embarrassed about the state of their teeth, which further prevents them from seeking the dental help they need to restore their oral health. But there’s nothing to be embarrassed about when you’re working with dentists like the Strommers.
New Image Dental: Comfortable, Convenient Sedation Dentistry in Mission Valley!
There’s no shame in dental anxiety, so don’t let your fear prevent you from getting the dental care you need. At New Image Dental, Dr. Leslie Strommer and Dr. Scott Strommer are specialists in dealing with dental anxiety.
With an information-centered, patient-focused approach to dentistry, the team at New Image Dental will take the time to understand the causes of your anxiety and address each one individually. Whether you simply need oral sedation for a mild case of anxiety or you need a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan, we’ll take great care of you.
Call us for an appointment today at (619) 873-4170, or visit our office at 8989 Rio San Diego Drive #170, San Diego, CA, 92108. We’d be happy to see you and discuss how you can overcome your dental anxiety to get the smile of your dreams!