People that experience dental phobia (Dentophobia) may take comfort in the fact that it is a fairly common diagnosable mental condition. At least they know they are not alone and that the medical community takes it seriously.
Phobias like Pteromerhanophobia: (the fear of flying) and Acrophobibia (the fear of heights) can be problematic, but a person can live a perfectly healthy life without getting on a 747 or riding an elevator to the top of the Chrysler Building.
A person who suffers from dental phobia or dental anxiety is at risk of entering a vicious cycle of declining oral health.
Fear causes the person to avoid dental checkups for years. When a minor dental dilemma (like a tiny cavity) progresses until it reaches a nerve and creates pain, the patient is forced to visit the dentist.
At this point, the required therapy is a major procedure (possibly an extraction followed by a dental implant). The procedure reinforces the dental phobia and, once again, the patient stays away from the dentist’s office. That’s how some men and women end up losing teeth at a relatively young age.
Experts believe that the scope of dental phobia may be as high as one in four men and women. Are you one of them?
At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry, we want to help apprehensive patients successfully overcome or at least manage their fear so they can endure twice-yearly checkups and cleanings. Preventive dentistry is the most effective way to protect teeth and gums.
If you haven’t had a dental exam in a while, please schedule a consultation. You can speak with Dr. Gustafson about the many options available including behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, and conscious sedation (sleep dentistry).
If you dread going to the dentist, there is hope. At Gustafson Morningstar Dentistry, we have successfully treated many patients just like you. We invite you to request a consultation today.
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