Dental Fear or Dental Phobia – Making the Distinction
The prospect of visiting the dentist is something that sparks anxiety, concern, and sometimes even terror in countless individuals. Research has suggested that upwards of 45 million Americans are afflicted by dental phobia or dental anxiety, and that may be a conservative estimate. The underlying reasons for dental fears include things such as simple fear of the unknown, fear about experiencing pain, concerns about needles and drills, or recollections of prior bad experiences. Learning more about the underlying causes of these dental fears makes managing them much easier and is something that every sufferer ought to do.
It is certainly true that many people use the terms dental fear, dental anxiety, and dental phobia as though they were interchangeable phrases, but it is not entirely accurate to do so. While these concepts may have numerous similarities in that they describe a spectrum of reactions to dental care and treatment, there are clear differences that need to be understood in order to address them successfully.
The term anxiety is properly used to describe a general sense of discomfort about things and situations that are unknown. Those facing dental anxiety may be able to conquer their issues by consulting with a skilled, affordable dentist trained in the art of communicating with and accommodating the needs of such patients.
Phobias are rightly described as being extreme and largely irrational responses to defined situations or circumstances that the sufferer views as being threatening to their well-being. Patients battling dental phobia may have visceral reactions to the sound of drilling, the anticipation of pain, or discomfort or some other part of the dental care experience that elicits intense feelings of fear. Dental phobias and dental fears can be trickier to treat than dental anxiety, and intervention by a mental health professional may be required.
Fortunately, innovations in the family dentistry field have led to the creation of sedation dental clinics and dental spas that specifically accommodate patients interested in maintaining proper dental care, but who find it difficult to conquer their anxiety. Dental spas offer a full menu of treatments and amenities meant to foster relaxation and comfort, such as massage, reflexology, and refreshments. Those with lingering dental fears may want to explore the option of sedation or sleep dentistry as a means to get the dental care they need without the paralyzing sense of fear. Consulting with an affordable dentist in Collingdale who is attuned to the specific needs of such patients is an ideal first step.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Collingdale, call Gentle Dental of Collingdale today at (484) 427-4663 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Collingdale. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Collingdale, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Collingdale.