Dental Fear Can Cause Little Problems To Become Big Ones

Posted on Apr 20, 2017 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

It is estimated that over 70% of American adults have some level of dental fear. For some, this fear prevents them from having regular exams and cleanings — visits that are designed to help you avoid problems in the first place or catch those that do occur at early stages while they’re easier to treat.

Dental fear causes many people to delay care, which can greatly increase time and expense for more complex treatment in the future. For example, keeping gums healthy through regular care is a small investment when compared to the expenses to treat gum disease.

A healthy, confident smile helps people to feel good about smiling, which means they tend to smile more often. Research has shown that smiling boosts one’s mood, self-esteem and self-confidence. This is because the act of smiling causes the release of endorphins, the brain’s ‘happy’ chemical. It has been shown that even faking a smile creates this same ‘natural high.’

For those who avoid dentistry because of fear, enjoying the benefits of a confident smile can be a challenge. Without regular dental care, many adults develop periodontal (gum) disease or lose natural teeth, even with a committed oral hygiene regimen at home.

In our office, we understand that perceived pain can seem just as real as actual pain. This is why we offer Oral and I.V. Sedation (twilight sleep). Both forms of sedation help patients relax before and throughout treatment. Too, both are effective at erasing most or all memory of the procedure afterward.

With the help of sedation, many procedures can be completed in just one or two visits. For lengthy procedures, sedation helps patients to combine several appointments into just one or two.

Today’s dentistry can be a comfortable, pleasant experience – for all patients. For many fearful patients, however, the key lies NOT in being sedated, but finding the right dentist. Feeling assured that you are in gentle hands, are respected, and in control of the pace of your care is the best way to overcome your dental fears – for good!

In our office, we are pleased that many patients who once had dental fear have overcome their fears to achieve healthy, confident smiles. Many no longer need sedation, knowing we are committed to their comfort at every visit.

If fear has kept you from regular dental visits, you may have some level of gum disease. Gum disease is the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss. Additionally, the potent bacteria of gum disease has been shown to trigger systemic inflammation. This can create serious health problems far beyond the mouth.

Begin with a friendly conversation with our phone staff. They’ll be happy to arrange a consultation if you’d like to begin with a conversation to have your questions answered. Call 828-274-9440 to schedule.

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