Dental phobias in Lawrenceville, GA are something that many suffer from. Whether you were scared by Steve Martin as Orin Scrivello in Little Shop of Horrors or Sir Laurence Olivier as Szell in Marathon Man, Hollywood has a history of exploiting those fears.
The first step is to recognize the phobia so that you can address the consequences and get your mouth the care it deserves.
Dentophobia, also called odontophobia, is the fear of dentists. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and, as a matter of fact, over 75% of adults have some fear of the dentist. If you are one of those people, know, you’re not alone.
There is an entire field of psychiatry that deals with dental phobias, and the common theme is that somewhere along the line, the individual had a bad experience or someone in their life projected their experiences onto that person.
Almost 37% of adults don’t visit the dentist on a regular basis. Other than cost and lack of dental insurance, the biggest obstacle is fear.
There are some very serious reasons that people are afraid of the dentist, but the most common anxieties come from:
The Drill: The whirring of the drill makes some people cringe like nails on a chalkboard.
Scraping: Much like the sound of the drill, scraping the tooth also adds an element of the touch of the metal instrument, often on your gums or the inside of your cheeks.
The anesthesia: Either too much, making you unable to speak or making you drool and the embarrassment of it, or too little so the drill or the scrape actually ends up in pain.
Embarrassment: Not only are people embarrassed if they can’t speak or if they drool, they are often embarrassed about the fear itself. They don’t want to show their fear, so their solution is to just not go to the dentist.
A Bad Experience: People that had a bad experience with their dentist, pain, or a dentist that isn’t personable, often neglect to go. Not only that, but children can take on the fears of those around them, making their experiences harder going forward.
There are many consequences of not going to your dentist.
1. One of the most obvious consequences is losing your teeth. Genetic, tooth decay, injury, or periodontal disease can all cause you to lose your teeth if they aren’t treated and addressed.
2. Debilitating tooth aches or abscesses can occur when you don’t get treatment right away. Abscesses may cause infections throughout your body as well as in your mouth.
3. Gum disease can be diagnosed early. Without care at the early stages, and if neglected, it will lead to more problems, including possible problems with your heart and digestive system.
4. Risk of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, dementia, all have links to gum disease and tooth decay. Unchecked and untreated, you aren’t just neglecting your mouth, but your body.
5. Paying for dental care now may not be easy, but paying for it later, when the problems have increased, dentures, extractions, implants, will be a lot more difficult.
In most cases, dentophobia can be cured by finding and making an appointment with a good dentist. The key is to keep the appointment and let the dental staff know your fears and anxieties.
However, in some cases, you may need more than just a visit. Most dental offices can refer you to someone who can help with therapy, or if need be, medications. As stated above, there is a whole sub sector of therapists and psychologists/psychiatrists that specialize in xenophobia.
So, the next time you feel like Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man, know that by calling Optima Dental, we can assure you that it is “safe”. We’re here to help.