Managing Dental Phobia

Managing dental phobia applies to people of all ages who are afraid of the dentist. A recent study offered proof that people with dental phobia are more likely to have active tooth decay or missing teeth. They alsodental-tools-in-medical-office  sm - graphicstock BtHMtoXABi found that phobic individuals typically prefer an immediate and short-term solution to problems over a long-term care plan.

It is not surprising that many people with dental phobia are more likely to have tooth decay or missing teeth. Nor is it surprising that people with dental phobia prefer a quick fix that can be completed in a single visit to the dentist over a treatment plan that will require several visits to the dentist.

An important observation is that people with dental phobia tend to report negative feelings far more than those who are not phobic. These feelings include sadness, discouragement, general anxiety, and exhaustion. They are also typically embarrassed by the poor condition of their teeth, and thus do not smile often.

The study also recommends the potential value of dentists creating a dental care program that these patients can follow at home. This should help to reduce the occurrence of acute problems and the number of dental visits required.

There are also other approaches to dental care that many with dental phobia find helpful in managing both their fear and their dental health. Most dentists today offer a range of relaxation and sedation options for phobic patients. We also have experience in creating home management programs for phobic patients.

If you live in Salem, Virginia and you or a loved one is dental phobic, talk with your dentist about options. If you do not have a dentist, give us a call. We help people manage and overcome dental phobia every day.

[Article: The oral health of individuals with dental phobia: a multivariate analysis of the Adult Dental Health Survey ( 2009, Ellie Heidari et al., British Dental Journal, published 20 April 2017.]