People around the world and about 15% of American's suffer from dental fear, dental anxiety or dental phobia. Someone with dental fear likely will get nervous, chills, panicked and even turn physically ill at the thought of visiting a dentist office. If you or someone you know suffers from dental fear, you are not alone and Kansas City Dentist, John P. Goodman, DDS can help.
Causes for Dental Anxiety and Phobia
The most common reasons people are apprehensive toward a dentist or dentist office are:
- Fear of pain
- Fear of needles
- Being out of control
- Dental drills
- A bad experience as a child
- Smell of dental office
- Gagging or choking
- Cost of dental procedures
- Not having dental insurance coverage and benefits
Dental Fear and Anxiety Solutions
Dental Health at Home
Many people believe that with and without dental insurance coverage, dentistry is expensive. At John P. Goodman, DDS LLC, we believe that neglect is expensive. When teeth are not properly cared for, the build up of plaque can lead to periodontal disease or tooth decay. These oral health issues can accompany pain, swelling, infection, and the need for a restorative option to prevent recurrent problems. These services require labor, durable materials and quality expertise; therefore make the price higher for long-lasting and effective restorations. The need for Restorative Dentistry can be prevented through regular oral hygiene habits such as: brushing twice daily, flossing and rinsing at least once daily all with a healthy lifestyle and two routine check-ups per year at the dentist.
Visiting the dentist every three to six months serves the purpose to address and solve any dental concerns or to allow preparation early on for the need of any additional dental treatments. Without these routine check-ups a dental issue can develop into a severe oral and overall health concern. These essential dental check-ups may cost between $0-$250 depending on the services completed and any dental insurance benefits. Even if there is a small fee, valuable routine exams are well worth the peace of mind, education, and recommendations you receive from your dentist.
Don't Wait Until the Pain is Unbearable
Many that fear the dentist often delay making an appointment until severe pain strikes. This delay allows for dental issues to worsen in time and threaten one's overall health and wellness. The progressing dental problem and increased pain can cause stress and dental fear to advance. If the inflammation or dental pain is intense, it may be difficult for the dental professional to provide treatment and options could be limited. It is very critical to see the dentist as soon as a problem arises and if it lasts or worsens over two weeks.
Find The Right Dentist
It is crucial for someone with dental fear to to be comfortable with their dentist, especially when an unexpected or emergency oral health issue comes to be. Research online or ask friends and family for a respected dentist in a safe area conveniently near your home or workplace. Call ahead for information about the office and check the dentist's website, social media and referral sites to view the office culture and other people's experiences.
John P. Goodman, DDS provides Kansas City patients a complimentary consultation to meet and discuss concerns and expectations before any dental work is even started. In this visit, Dr. Goodman will listen intently to formulate and explain all treatment options available to suit your comfort level and meet your specific needs.
Gentle Dental Care
When requesting information or setting up an appointment with a dental office, it is important to communicate any dental anxiety with the dental professionals or person booking your appointment. Be open with your dentist or dental hygienist about any nervousness or sensitivity and request gentle dental care if you are afraid of pain. The more information you provide to your dental specialists, the better the experience will be. Our friendly Kansas City dental office prides itself on the gentle chair-side manner and superior personalized care given to all of our patients.
Tune Out The Fear
The dental equipment used in the dental office may produce buzzing and drill like noises, making those with dental fear cringe and tense. If sounds make you uneasy, bring along your music player with headphones to drown out the noise. If gentle dentistry and music cannot tune out your fears, you may want to consider forms of sedation dentistry.
Anesthetic and Nitrous Oxide are types of Sedation Dentistry that can be provided during your dental appointment. Anesthetic is administered through a needle to eliminate all pain and produce numbness to the area being treated. With Dr. Goodman's expertise and skilled hand, the needle is often not felt by the patient as he releases the anesthetic. Nitrous Oxide or "Laughing Gas" is a relaxant gas given through tubes into an oxygen mask to promote full breathing. Both options are safe solutions that work well and have few side effects, allowing more to be accomplished during the procedure.
At our office we do not offer General Anesthesia or full sedation that requires the patient be unconscious for procedures. This type of sedation dentistry is usually recommended for more complex procedures such as wisdom teeth removal.
Kids with Dental Anxiety
If your child has dental fear and anxiety, check out our follow-up post and tips on Overcoming Dental Fear and Anxiety for Kids.
John P. Goodman, DDS wants Kansas City patients and their children to have a great dental experience. If there is anything our office can do to make dental appointments more comfortable, do not hesitate to request. Contact our family dental office at 816-842-8585 or send us a message to schedule your dental appointments today.