If you delayed seeing the dentist out of fear, you are not alone. In fact, many patients, young and old, fear the dentist. People’s dental fears have many causes including unpleasant past experiences, fear of discovering their bad oral hygiene habits, fear that the dentist will find something wrong, or unpleasant smells and sounds. Adults can also dread the bill that they could be hit if they don’t have good dental insurance and something bad is found.
You may have heard of someone at one point or another to “face your fears” and the more you do with it that is uncomfortable for you, the more you will get used to it and it won’t be scary anymore. The same logic can be applied to the visit to the dentist. The more you visit the dentist, the better you will know your dentist and staff, and the more accustomed you will be to the look, feel, sounds and smells of the dental office.
Patients are strongly encouraged to see their dentist at least twice a year, or every six months, for a routine dental check-up and professional teeth cleaning. These types of routine appointments are quick, inexpensive (many dental insurance plans cover these exams), and do not cause pain or discomfort to the patient. Sticking to this regular dental visit schedule will help you gradually calm any fears and concerns you may have about going to the dentist. They will also help educate you and your dentist about possible oral health problems that can be treated easily and effectively at an early stage.
Many dental patients who give in to their fears and do not see their dentist regularly are at a higher risk for oral health problems that require more intensive, uncomfortable, time-consuming and expensive treatment. This, in turn, can reinforce the patient’s fear of the dentist by again giving him a negative and unpleasant experience.
Some patients think that because their teeth and gums look great and feel great, they don’t need to see their dentist. This is a common misconception that often leads patients to put their oral health at unnecessary risk. While some dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease have symptoms that can be easily noticed by a person without dental knowledge, other oral conditions such as bruxism and oral cancer often have no symptoms. notable. Without the trained eye examination by a dental professional, a patient may very well be suffering from a life-threatening illness that requires immediate treatment. Even if nothing serious is detected, a dentist can observe and anticipate the growth and development of various oral conditions, which an untrained eye would easily miss. Proactive and preventive dental treatment can then be performed, saving the patient additional pain, discomfort, complications and costs.
As the old saying goes, “prevention is the best medicine”. Catching oral health problems early and getting teeth thoroughly cleaned to prevent cavities and gum disease can save dental patients the need for expensive, time-consuming and invasive treatments in the future, all of which are common sources of dental concerns for patients.
If you are compromising the health of your teeth and gums because you are afraid of the dentist, remember the importance of those regular six-month dental office visits and how they can save you from green experiences and unpleasant in the dental office.