The inability to make a dental appointment, lack of dental insurance, and financial problems are some of the reasons why people don’t get the proper dental care.
Other reasons include that the people may not understand how important it is to follow the instructions of their dentist, and a lack of understanding of the option they have for dental treatment.
However, one of the most common reasons people don’t get the proper dental care is phobia or anxiety of receiving proper dental care.
As many as 20% of patients who don’t make regular trips to their dentist cite the fear of dentists as the primary reason why they don’t seek regular dental treatment.
But, the dental industry has recently is recognized how common the fear of dentists is, and has developed a variety of sedation dentistry techniques that are helping to reduce the dental fears of patients.
Since it is so important for patients to receive regular dental care for overall health, dentists try to encourage their patients to keep their regular dental appointments by making visits as comfortable and stress free as possible. In addition to the early detection of dental problems like oral bone loss, infection, and gum disease, poor dental hygiene can also lead to an increased risk of strokes and heart disease.
A dentist will also regularly check for oral cancer, which may otherwise go undetected.
The fear of dentists can be the result of numerous situations, but is frequently the result of the anticipation of pain, either involving the procedure itself or the needles that are associated with the numbing process. Many older patients may have endured dental treatments that were unduly painful prior to today’s pain free dental techniques.
A feeling of not being in control may also result in a fear of dentists and in some rare cases, a phobia of dental care.
The symptoms of a fear of dentists can include a panic attack, rapid breathing, sweating, vomiting, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and excessive worrying. Despite the extreme nature of these symptoms in some patients, there are numerous treatments that are available to provide successful dental treatment.
Sedation dentistry uses a range of medications and is used by many dentists and most anxious patients respond well to it. While local anesthetics may also be required needed during a potentially painful procedure, the injection is usually given following the administration of a sedative. Before appointments, oral sedatives may be given to patients and sedation by IV given during the procedure.
Another tool that can be used in sedation dentistry is nitrous oxide which gives the patient a calm and relaxed feeling when it is inhaled. The best option when a patient must undergo extensive surgery or is experiencing acute anxiety is a general anesthetic.
Additional options for the treatment of dental anxiety include cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy, positive visualization, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques for those who suffer from extreme phobic reactions. The patient should discuss the best option for them with their dentist.