According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), 36 percent of the United States population experiences dental anxiety. In fact, an additional 12 percent suffer from what scientists call “extreme dental fear.” In search of underlying causes for such phobias, researchers studied the underlying reason so many people fear dentists. They concluded “the causes of dental fear, dental anxiety or dental phobia are related to exogenous factors such as direct learning from traumatic experiences, vicarious learning through significant others and the media, and endogenous factors such as inheritance and personality traits.” In other words, several things conspire to produce dental anxiety. At Blue Ocean Dentistry, we work to alleviate such fears.
Why People Fear Dentists
As a rule, people typically fear dental treatment for the following reasons:
Past painful experience sear experiences in memory. As a result, fearful dental patients often anticipate future discomfort. And this all too often inspires them to cancel upcoming appointments. Unfortunately, when this occurs, oral problems often go untreated, which exacerbate underlying dental health conditions. To avoid this, address your fears with your dental health professional. Ignoring pain won’t make it go away. And when it comes to dental work, the longer you delay, the more severe the pain will be when you are finally forced to address it.
- Loss of Control
When it comes right down to us, where it concerns our bodies, humans loathe a loss of control. Reclining in a dental chair exemplifies the ultimate loss of control. To help overcome this fear, ask your dentist to adjust the chair or provide extra support so you won’t feel as exposed and powerless.
- Family History
Oral health passes from one generation to the next. So do dental habits. People whose parents hated the dentist often pass this fear along to their own kids. The reaction could have occurred due to a particularly painful experience or because the family paid less than careful attention to at-home care. Or the dentist could have been inept. (We aren’t!) Whatever the reason, oral horror stories passed from one generation to the next make people shy about visiting the dentist.
- Sensory Overload
Nothing assaults the senses quite so much as the sound of a dentist’s drill. Even those professionals who play music or television programs during treatment fail to mask the harsh sound of loud equipment. Also, for obvious reasons, dentists work under bright lights and use sharp tools. Although these issues fail to dissuade most people from keeping their appointments, they contribute to the plethora of concerns held by people with dental anxiety.
- Catching Your Breath
Some dental patients struggle to breathe when dental professionals probe bicuspids, especially during extended dental procedures. This can lead to feelings of claustrophobia. But rest assured your dentist likely has access to tools such as nitrous oxide to aid breathing and calm ragged nerves.
Dr. Fred Wong’s Specialty
After Dr. Fred Wong graduated from dental school, he joined a dental practice with several other professionals. Over the years, his colleagues started referring fearful patients to him, since they noted his skill in alleviating such fears. When he opened Blue Ocean Dentistry, it was only natural he would continue to cultivate his expertise relative to anxious patients. So if you live or work in and around the Glendora area, schedule a consultation today. The Blue Ocean Dentistry staff will be happy to help calm your dental anxiety so you can leave dental phobia in the dust.
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.