Dental phobia, also called dental anxiety, is an extreme fear of going to the dentist. People suffering from dental phobia refuse or come up with good excuses to not visit any family dentistry in Plano or elsewhere for any reason — even if teeth have been hurting for months.
How Common is Dental Phobia?
People suffering from a dental phobia will often not admit that they are scared of going to the dentist. This makes it hard to determine how widespread the problem is. However, a 2018 study published in the journal BMC Oral Health suggests that anywhere from 3 to 16 percent of adults in the world suffer. That’s a lot of people.
Symptoms of Dental Phobia
Although many may argue that the source of all anxiety is on your head, dental anxiety gives very real physical symptoms that are impossible to ignore. These symptoms are the same as for someone experiencing a classic panic attack, including (but not limited to):
- Suddenly breaking out into a sweat
- Problems breathing
- Chest tightening or pain
- Coordination problems
- Feeling faint
- Rapid heartbeat
If you know you get scared of going to the dentist, have a trusted loved one make the appointment and drive you there and back to be sure you keep that appointment. Focus on breathing deeply, which will help combat breathlessness and chest tightening. In extreme cases, your dentist may suggest a light sedation medication that wears off after a few hours.
In Conclusion: You Are Not Alone
If you have been putting off going to the dentist due to fear, you are not crazy. You may be suffering from dental phobia. The good news is that this is a treatable condition. Experienced, gentle dentists like the ones at Lone Star Dental Care Family Dentistry in Plano will work with you to help you get the care your teeth need.