There are many patients around the world suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia and will look for anything so as to avoid going to the dentist. Well did you know that dental anxiety and dental phobia are two different things? Many people don’t know this, but they are different. We will today discuss both of the two conditions so you have a much clearer understanding.
What is a phobia? This is an unreasonable fear of something. You might be having a phobia of an object or an activity. When it comes to the dental field, people with a dental phobia will try their best to stay away from routine dental care and they will delay it for even months. They are okay and happy living with dental diseases such as periodontal diseases, unhealthy gums, and crooked tooth. Dental anxiety, on the other hand, is feeling uneasy from something. This counts for dental appointments in dentistry.
These conditions are very common. There has been an assumption that between 15%-20% population in the world have a problem when it comes to seeing their dentist. There was a survey done by the British Dental Health Foundation which showed that 36% of patients who did not visit the dentist have all cited fear as the reason.
When both of these conditions are compared, you will realize dental phobia is far much more serious than dental anxiety. A person can easily deal with anxiety but when it comes to fear the time frame needed to overcome it becomes more. People who have dental phobia have a higher risk of falling prey to some health issues that can be serious. The biggest impact they are going to see is on their gums. The dental health will get worse, the teeth start to get damaged and discolored, and this will lead to insecurity.
Patients will start cutting themselves off from the society, and they will hide their mouth before smiling or talking when they are in public. This embarrassment will spread to both personal and professional life. The worst thing about this is the fact that it can result in more serious conditions such as heart disease and lung disease.
The next question you are going to ask yourself is – What are the causes of dental phobia and dental anxiety? Read on to find out:
- Pain. This is the number reason for about 6% of the people who did not visit the dentist in one year. The average age of these patients was 24 years. There are some painless dental treatments that were the main reason as to why the pain was listed as the main cause of dental phobia and dental anxiety.
- The feeling of helplessness and out of control: Try imagining this: It is your first time on an airplane. The doors have been properly locked and you have fastened the seat belts. Now, what type of thing are you able to do? This can be the same feeling that patients get when seated in the dental chair. They are not able to move or speak. If you have feelings of discomfort, trying making gestures and the dentist will know how you feel. This situation can easily push a patient towards dental anxiety.
- Embarrassment: How do you feel when laughing or someone keeps looking at your teeth? People are so insecure when it comes to how they look especially when someone stares at them, they start to feel embarrassed. The reason why many people do not this is when the dentist is peeing inside the mouth. Dental treatment will involve the dentist being close. This might make many people a little uncomfortable.
- Pain or Discomfort from a past dental treatment: Humans tend to keep past experiences in their mind. This is why if you have a painful dental treatment memory, it will leave a lasting effect on your brain.
It can be hard to differentiate between phobia and anxiety. We all have that one thing we fear about. Dental treatment is important for your health, and there is no need to fear when it comes to seeing a dentist. If you are suffering from either of these conditions, then you should consider talking to your dentists so that he/she can take precautions with you.