A Look at Dental Anxiety, Fear, and Phobia

There are many reasons why people don’t visit their dentist as often as they should. One such reason is dental anxiety or fear, which can prevent patients from seeking necessary dental treatment. Though dental anxiety, fear, and phobia are often used interchangeably, there is a distinction between them based on the severity of your apprehension. Fortunately, dental sedation can help you overcome that fear, though finding the right sedation option may first depend on determining your level of dental fear. Below, we briefly explain the differences between dental anxiety, fear, and phobia to help you gauge the severity of your condition.

What Is Dental Anxiety?

Anxiety is best described as a vague fear of the unknown, and is commonly felt when people face something that they’ve never experienced before. Dental anxiety affects most people to some degree, especially right before a dental procedure, but does not usually affect your treatment.

What Is Dental Fear?

Dental fear is a reaction to a danger that you know. For instance, if you’ve had a bad experience at the dentist’s office in the past, then you may fear returning to the dentist. The intensity of your fear can trigger a fight-or-flight response when confronted with the source, which can cause you to cancel your dental appointment/treatment, or not schedule it at all.

What Is Dental Phobia?

Dental phobia is dental fear to the extreme. The mere thought of walking into a dentist’s office or sitting in the chair can trigger your fight-or-flight response. Patients with dental phobia will avoid dental care at all costs, until dental damage becomes so great that it demands treatment.

Overcome Dental Fear and Phobia with Sedation

Dental anxiety, fear, and phobia are common obstructions to excellent dental care. However, you can overcome them with gentle dental care and the right dental sedation option. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling our sedation dentistry office in Katy, TX, today at 832-437-3849.

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