If you dread going the dentist for your yearly dental checkup, then you might be suffering from what is referred to as dental phobia. Dental fear is common, not only with children but with adults as well. It is, however, especially common with people who suffer from other mental health issues. Research suggests that about 20% of people who have dental phobia also suffer from other mental issues such as generalized anxiety disorder
Still, dental phobia should be differentiated from dental anxiety and dental fear as they vary in degree of severity. An article Dental Fear Central demonstrates the difference between the three:
- Dental Anxiety is a reaction to an unknown danger. In general terms, anxiety is a feeling of nervous anticipation of the unknown. Everyone experiences anxiety every now and then, although for some, it occurs more frequently.
- Dental Fear involves the activation of fear as a fight-or-flight response when confronted with the threatening stimulus.
- Dental Phobia is basically the same as fear, only much stronger. The fight-or-flight response occurs when a trigger reminds them of a situation they recognize as threatening. Someone with a dental phobia will avoid dental care at all costs until either a physical problem or the psychological burden of the phobia becomes overwhelming.
If you are looking to overcome your fear of being in the dentist chair, ask your dentist near Scranton, PA for advice on available options you can look into. IV sedation is one such option, for example. Otherwise known as twilight sleep, sedation dentistry puts a patient in a state of relaxation deep enough so that he or she will not be aware of the procedure. Depending on how complex the procedure is, the patient may be put under either mild or heavy sedation. The former puts the patient in a light sleep, while the latter puts the patient in state of deep slumber.
With the care of a sedation dentist near Dallas, PA, like Dr. James DeFinnis of Back Mountain Dental, people suffering from dental fear, phobia, or anxiety can just relax and enjoy their brand new smiles when they wake up from the procedure.