Dental Phobia, More Than Just a Toothache

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dental phobia

A common, debilitating psychological issue that touches many is dental phobia. Dental phobia is the phenomenon in which the mere thought of visiting the dentist or undergoing a procedure can induce anxiety or even a panic attack. Manifestations of the disorder can be broad, including all dentists and their office, or they can be narrow, focusing on a specific procedure. Typical symptoms are sweating, shaking, nausea, feelings of dread, and heart palpitations.

About 75 percent of Americans suffer from some form of dental phobia, ranging in degrees of severity, the most severe form being odontophobia. Many people credit the fear to a traumatic or extremely painful visit to the dentist, one they are unable to move past. Sadly, many of the people suffering with the condition also avoid seeing the dentist, and both their dental and overall health suffer as a consequence.

If you have ever experienced dental phobia and are embarrassed to go to the dentist out of fear of losing control of yourself, we want you to know that there is help. Dentists see a large number of patients with this same fear and are able to console you and provide relief for your anxiety and tooth pain.

We offer our patients the option of receiving sedation before their procedures, which allows you to feel relaxed while the work is being done. This sedation is performed with the utmost caution and care for the patient. Pharmacology, or the practice of sedation, is used in most dental practices, ranging from Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) to benzodiazepines, such as Valium and Xanax, that inhibit anxiety and help you to relax.

We want our patients to know that we are very experienced with the complicated issues dental phobia presents and offer help. If you have fears, concerns, or questions, we encourage you to reach out to us for a discrete consultation about dental procedures under sedation. We are not the typical dentist’s office – we care about your physical and mental health, and we want your experiences with us to be as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.  If you have been avoiding your dentist appointments, it is time to contact us and find out how we can work with you to reclaim your comfort and health!

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