The U.K.’s Daily Mail recently spoke with several people who have odontophobia, or a severe fear of dental work. Although more than one-third of people are moderately anxious about visiting a dentist, according to one survey, about 12% are so fearful that they said they would avoid a dentist visit at all costs or require sedation.
“Fear of the dentist often leads people to avoid visiting one, even if they’re in pain or suffering from problems such as decay,” Julie Cook writes for the Daily Mail.
The Daily Mail found people who have not been to a dentist in decades. That includes a 38-year-old woman who stayed away from a dentist for nearly two decades until severe pain and swelling in the back of her mouth forced her to seek treatment. A dentist told her she had an abscess under one of her molars.
Don’t Skip Checkups and Cleanings
Whether the idea of seeing a dentist makes your blood run cold or simply has you feeling a little nervous, it is important to understand that regular checkups and cleanings are a vital part of overall well-being. Skipping dentist visits can lead to serious and even life-threatening oral health issues.
Gum disease has long been linked to heart health problems, for example. Regular checkups and cleanings give dentists the chance to address plaque buildup before it leads to more serious issues like gum disease. They also allow professionals to spot other issues, the Daily Mail points out.
“Dental phobia also means there is a risk that the oral cancers — which are on the rise and which dentists look for — aren’t being picked up early, when they are more treatable,” Cook writes.
The good news is that there are a number of options for helping people feel more comfortable about dentist visits. At Pearl White, we are pleased to be able to offer sedation for patients who are nervous about a visit. We offer two sedation options – oral medication and nitrous oxide – to help patients relax and ensure that they get the dental care that they need.
Our Fort Lauderdale Dentist Can Help
If you are overdue for a checkup, are experiencing mouth pain or discomfort or simply want to brighten your smile, Fort Lauderdale dentist Natalia Benda-Celenski and her team at Pearl White Dentistry can help.
We have been helping people throughout South Florida keep their mouths healthy and their smiles shining for more than 15 years. Our patient reviews speak for themselves: people love the Pearl White experience! Contact us online, call us at (954) 491-8812, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment with a Fort Lauderdale dentist.