Dental Fear Can Lead To Complex, Costly Problems

Posted on Oct 21, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

It is estimated that over 70% of American adults have some level of dental fear. Some are so afraid of dental visits that it interferes with their ability to have a healthy, confident smile. This is unfortunate, especially because people who feel good about their smile tend to smile more often. And, research has shown that smiling boosts one’s mood, self-esteem and self-confidence.

For those who have dental fears, achieving and maintaining a healthy, confident smile is a challenge. In many cases, we see patients who have developed periodontal (gum) disease or lost natural teeth because fear kept them from dental care. We understand that perceived pain can be just as real to some as actual pain. This is why we offer a number of comfort options, including Oral and I.V. Sedation (twilight sleep).

Both forms of sedation help patients relax before and throughout treatment while erasing most or all memory of the procedure afterward. With the help of sedation, many procedures are completed in just one or two visits.

Although some procedures require more than one appointment, our technology helps reduce treatment time while increasing your comfort level. For lengthier procedures, some patients combine several appointments into just one or two. With the help of sedation, they can enjoy total relaxation with a pleasant recovery afterward.

Not only does dental fear create delays in treatment for many, it can greatly increase the costs required for more complex treatment. For example, your 6-month exams and cleanings are structured to help you avoid problems in the first place and catch problems while they’re still small. Keeping gums healthy through regular care is a small investment when compared to the expenses to treat gum disease.

Today’s dentistry, in the right hands, should not hurt. In our office, we take great pride that many new patients with dental fear find that sedation is not necessary after a visit or so. This comes from developing a relationship of trust and helping the patient to know our commitment is to their comfort at every visit.

Call 828-274-9440 to schedule an examination. If fear has kept you from regular dental visits, you likely have some form of gum disease. If not treated, this will only worsen. Gum disease is the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss. Plus, the potent bacteria of gum disease has been shown to trigger systemic inflammation. This can create serious health problems far beyond the mouth.

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