Dental anxiety is a very common problem
In this series we’ll discuss how painless anesthetic delivery and conscious sedation can help.
Studies have shown that as much as 75% of Americans suffer from dental anxiety to some degree. (1) They may feel apprehension before their appointment, even to the point where they delay or avoid going to the dentist.
Odontophobia – irrational fear of dentistry – is not the same as dental anxiety. Various studies have found that around 10% to 20% of Americans suffer from this more severe form of the same condition. Patients with odontophobia feel more than just a little anxiety about going to the dentist – they feel fear, dread, even terror. Their symptoms may even be so pronounced that they have a panic attack when sitting down in the dentist’s chair. Sufferers of odontophobia are extremely unlikely to go to the dentist, even in the face of a life-threatening condition.
Thirty years ago there was little dentists could do to help sufferers of moderate to severe odontophobia. Fortunately, technological advancements and new procedural methods available nowadays can help everyone get the treatment they need.
Dr. Abeyta uses two main tools to work with patients who suffer from dental anxiety and odontophobia and get them the care they need: painless anesthetic delivery and conscious sedation. In this series, we’ll take a look at both of these tools, how they work, and how they can help people get the dental treatment they need to stay healthy.
The importance of treating dental anxiety
Avoiding dental treatment can have dire consequences. Despite the best efforts of brushing and flossing, cavities do still happen. A cavity is just an infection of the tooth, and it can be just as serious as an infection anywhere else in the body.
Check back soon for Combating dental anxiety and odontophobia: painless anesthetic delivery and conscious sedation – Part 2! In the meantime, check out our page on painless anesthetic delivery.
1 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6582116