Dental Anxiety: Why Are People Scared of Going to the Dentist?

Do you know someone who has dental anxiety? It’s more common than you might think—it affects as many as half of all Americans. But, even if your teeth and gums are picture perfect, you may still suffer from some level of dental anxiety yourself. Fear of the dentist is one of the most common phobias in the world, but it’s also one of the easiest to overcome with a little knowledge and planning. Check out these tips on dental anxiety and learn why so many people are scared of going to the dentist today.

Fear of Pain

Unfortunately, painful dental procedures have been a recurring topic of conversation in the media for over a century. Our subconscious mind is stuck on the sound of drills and screams. Going to a dentist nowadays is nothing like what it once used to be when dental instruments and knowledge were less advanced.

Nevertheless, when dental phobia still gets in the way, you may want to discuss the issue with your dentists. Many professionals provide specialist sedation dentistry, ensuring nervous patients can have a relaxing visit.

Disruption to Busy Schedules

If you’re afraid of going to the dentist because you don’t have time, think about it this way. If you were in pain and needed medical help, would you make time for that appointment? If so, then make time for your dental appointment.

One way to get around a busy schedule is by booking appointments for routine procedures like teeth cleanings.

Some dentists also provide longer opening hours, so even people who work in an office can make time during their lunch break or after work. As the majority of workers have no input in their work schedule, many are left with a difficult choice: Work or get dental care.

Fear of Complications

Another reason people might be scared of going to the dentist is the fear of potential complications. Some people are afraid that they will have a terrible experience, and that their dental aftercare will be difficult. It’s not uncommon for people to choose to ignore their dental requirements because they don’t know how they will be able to look after their teeth after an appointment. Many say that ignoring dental issues feels easier than facing potentially disruptive complications.

However, there are many ways you can prevent complications from happening in the first place. Aftercare for your teeth is also an important part of going to see a dentist. Prevention is key; if you come in with good oral hygiene habits, your dentist may not have as many issues or concerns about your mouth.

Shameful About Their Teeth

For a lot of people, shame is their biggest obstacle when it comes to going to the dentist. Indeed, feeling self-conscious about your teeth could prevent you from seeking specialist treatments and assistance.

Why are people ashamed of their teeth? Shame affects people who don’t attend dental appointments frequently. They are aware that their teeth may not be as bright or straight as other people’s. There are two main reasons that gradually lead to shame. Firstly, low-income individuals are left in a situation where dental care is not affordable. Secondly, people who grew up in families that didn’t go to the dentist can find it difficult to book their first appointment. Yet, it is important to remember that your dentist is here to help you.

Unpleasant Location

Going to the dentist’s office can be an unpleasant experience when the location is hard to access or set in an unwelcoming neighborhood. There may also be loud noises or other distractions that make it difficult for people who are nervous about going to the dentist, for example. That’s precisely why the location of dental businesses is crucial to bring more clients through the door. Some of the essential aspects that dentists consider before opting for a location include:

  • Public transport accessibility
  • Proximity to their customer base
  • Accessibility of the building for people with limited mobility
  • Friendly community

Stressful Environment

The environment of a dental office can make all the difference in how someone feels about going there. It’s important that dental offices have an inviting, comforting atmosphere so patients feel at ease and can relax while they are being treated.

The most common complaint about dentist surgeries is that they can feel too clinical. Choosing a color palette that creates a soothing and welcoming environment can make a huge difference. The right decor can include art displays, comfortable chairs in the waiting room, and even music.

There is more than one type of dental fear. While most people are concerned about having a painful experience, for many others, time pressure, shame, or even exposure to an impersonal environment can affect their experience of dental treatment.

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