Is Dental Fear Real

Is Dental Fear Real

Posted by DR. DOWSETT on Mar 25 2022, 02:46 AM

Do you have dental issues but are feeling too anxious to visit a dentist? You are not alone! According to research, around 50-80% of the US population is affected by dental anxiety. 

Dr. David J. Dowsett at Complete Health Dentistry of Portland in Portland, Oregon, is experienced in dealing with patients with dental phobia and provides specialized advice and sedation options to tackle this issue. Read on to learn more about dental fear and what you can do to manage it.

What Is Dental Fear?

Dental fear is characterized by excessive fear or dread of dental procedures, no matter how simple or complex they may be. It leads to procrastination and postponement of critical dental procedures that ultimately affect your dental health.

What Are the Symptoms?

People with dental fear may show the following signs or symptoms:

  • Sweating and palpitations
  • Low blood pressure
  • Panic attacks
  • Masked humor and denial

What Is the Cause of Dental Fear?

Several reasons or experiences can lead to dental fear in individuals, such as:

External Causes 

Firstly, any past traumatic dental procedure can lead to fear of future procedures, a condition coined as ‘conditioning experience’ by dental experts. Many people are known to suffer from this type of fear and, many times, it is the result of bad childhood experiences.

Another common reason is the fear of injections such as for local anesthetic. Children of parents who showed dental fear symptoms often portray dental feal as well. 

Internal Causes

Did you know that dental fear can be inherited and is gender-linked? In a study, authors reported a genetic component in twins with dental fear and found that girls were more prone to this fear than boys.

People with behavioral traits such as neuroticism (anxiety, depression, hostility) and extraversion (pleasure and warmth seeking) are more susceptible to dental phobia.

How to Overcome Dental Fear?

Try these simple yet effective steps to overcome your dental fear:

  • Ask questions. A well-informed dentist will understand your apprehension and will proceed at your convenience.
  • Ask your dentist to brief you about the procedure well in advance.
  • If dental tools bother you, request your dentist not to bring out the tools at the beginning of the procedure.
  • Talk to a mental health expert if your dental fear is stopping you from seeking dental help.

To learn more about dental fear and how to overcome it, contact Complete Health Dentistry of Portland at (503) 253-1262 or 11765 Northeast Glisan Street, Portland, OR 97220.

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