Many medical experts say that dental phobia, or the fear of visiting a dentist, is one of the biggest reasons why tooth ailments are all too common in the US, affecting both children and adults. According to Steve Brady, in an article in Lebanon Democrat & Wilson County News, older people who have this fear can create unforeseen consequences, such as children “inheriting” the dental phobia from their parents.
As such, dental phobia should be addressed first before any procedure can take place.
The fear mostly stems from the image of getting strapped into a chair with little to no freedom of movement, which is a crude way of describing most dental procedures. However, eliminating this fear isn’t as difficult as it sounds: a friendly dentist who gently explains to his patient the specifics of the upcoming treatment can control the anxiety that the patient experiences.
If talking doesn’t work, the procedure can be done with a careful dose of sedatives. Dr. James DeFinnis, a reputable dentist in Scranton, PA, specializes in intravenous (IV) sedation, which allows the patient to stay awake, yet become numb to pain during a dental procedure.
IV sedation is much more refined than the other, more common types of sedation dentistry. In fact, IV sedation can be seen as the direct opposite of deep sedation, which renders the patient almost completely unconscious and unresponsive to most stimuli. Pain and involuntary movements are significantly reduced in sedation dentistry. Thus, forgoing the services of a sedation dentist in Dallas, PA, in dealing with dental phobia may have an even larger impact on patients who totally reject dental visits.
The consequences of letting dental phobia go untreated don’t end with the children acquiring the adult family members’ fear. People who give in to dental phobia are also more likely to develop medical phobia and to forego medical procedures altogether, increasing their chances of getting sick. Refusing professional help in maintaining their overall health may entail greater medical expenses in the long run. It can also end up worsening a relatively minor dental concern such as tooth decay or plaque.