In the eyes of a child, it can seem as though adults aren’t afraid of anything. They’re big, they’re strong, they work hard, and they make life flow in an easy way. But in fact, one of the most common and widespread fears among older demographics is a phobia of the dentist. Why is this, and how can it be corrected?

At Federal Hill Smiles, we understand that not every individual is comfortable with the idea of visiting a dentist, even if they logically understand the importance of going for their dental health and physical wellbeing. In this article, we outline some of the reasons that even the bravest adults have a perfectly understandable fear of dental care, and we also offer advice on ways to mitigate this sense of ill ease. 

What Causes Dental Anxiety?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, between nine and 15 percent of Americans struggle with some form of moderate to severe dental anxiety. This can be defined as an intense fear arising from the prospective thought of visiting the dentist, whether for a routine cleaning and checkup or a more intensive surgical procedure. But what causes this? After all, wouldn’t most people do away with a toothache rather than endure the pain that an untreated cavity can cause?

Dental anxiety can be caused by a number of factors, but most often it is linked to a past negative experience (a trauma) while visiting a dentist or a medical professional. This may range from the benign, such as a feeling of discomfort during a cleaning, all the way to the extreme, such as a severe infection after a root canal. What’s important to understand about dental anxiety is that it feels valid to the affected person, even though the average individual may not see things in the same way.

Phobias are both interesting and difficult to treat in that they have no basis in rationality, whether the sufferer perceives it to be logical or not. However, these phobias can be explained and better understood, and in doing so, dentists and other professionals alike can learn how to cope with these sentiments of discomfort and create a more welcoming environment for their clientele. 

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is broadly understood as general dental care performed under the accommodation of anesthetics or numbing agents. Although many individuals are capable of receiving cleanings, cavity fillings, and even wisdom tooth extractions without “going under,” some adults are simply not comfortable with the idea of getting work done on their teeth and mouth. 

That’s where sedation dentistry comes into play. By administering a small amount of relaxing medication, sedation dentistry makes it possible for those struggling with anxiety to receive the care and procedures they need to best manage their dental health. 

Although it is commonly referred to as “sleep dentistry”, sedation dentistry almost never causes a person to lose consciousness. Instead, the idea is to induce a state of relaxation while maintaining consciousness and coherence, while allowing the individual to receive the service or treatment they need.

Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You?

Sedation dentistry may be a good fit for you if you have difficulty visiting the dentist without experiencing a strong sense of discomfort and worry. Thanks to advancements in modern medicine and technology, there has never been a more affordable, safer, or convenient way to receive sedation dentistry, especially when you partner with the professionals at Federal Hill Smiles. 

Our team of dental hygienists, dentists, and oral surgeons is ready to help you get through the difficulties that you may believe to be associated with dental care. We are compassionate, competent, and communicative. So if you are ready to receive the comfortable, stress-free treatment that is best for you and your oral health, please give us a call today!