Does Dental Fear Give You Gum Disease?

Posted on Sep 18, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Nearly 70% of American adults have some level of anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist. Even worse, about half of those have such a high level of fear they are categorized as dental phobics. These are people who become so upset at the mere thought of dental visits that physical reactions (such as breaking out in a sweat) occur.

Often, those with dental fears aren’t sure of the origins, although many are related to traumatic childhood dental experiences. Fortunately, modern dentistry has made much progress in comfort options. Additionally, most of today’s dentists are more sensitive to patient comfort and strive to deliver ‘painless’ dentistry. Many offices offer oral sedation as well as topical numbing before injections and headsets with soothing music to help relax patients.

During many procedures, we use oral sedation to place our patients in a fully relaxed, serene state. Numbing is still provided but injections are delivered after the patient is sedated. Oral sedation is given prior to your appointment so you are relaxed by the time you arrive at our office. Oral sedation provides total relaxation throughout your visit and typically erases memory of the procedure afterward.

The first step is to choose the Doctor who is right for you. For some, just making the appointment and getting in the door for the initial visit is a challenge. I suggest starting with a consultation. This will allow you to meet the Doctor in a non-clinical setting and determine if this practice is a good fit for you.

Often, fearful patients relax just by meeting the ‘right Doctor.’ If it has been years (or even decades) since your last dental check-up and cleaning, it is vital to your overall health to rid your mouth of the oral bacteria that is surely present. Please call (828) 274-9440 for a consultation as soon as possible. The earlier your care begins, the less will be required to restore your mouth to a healthy state. And, your comfort will be a priority at every visit!

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