Odontophobia is the technical term for dental anxiety or dental phobia. To a degree, being nervous about a dental visit is a normal reaction — an estimated 75% of Americans experience some level of fear of the dentist. 25% of Americans, however, are estimated to be dental phobic, according to a Businesswire.com article. This is characterized by a severe state of fear that makes an individual feel like something bad will happen during a dental treatment, so much so that they avoid going to the dentist entirely.
What can cause such an extreme fear of the dentist? One explanation is tied to having had a traumatic dental experience in the past. Research suggests that a negative dental experience as a child can have a lasting effect on how they perceive the dentist well into adulthood. Fear of pain is another connection to dental anxiety. They might be terrified based on their own unpleasant experience or from stories they’ve heard of others who have experienced painful dental procedures. People who might have general anxiety or a fear of loss of control can also be susceptible to an irrational fear of the dentist, but feel powerless to change it.
At Baldwinsville Gentle Dentistry, we want to put your mind at ease so you can get the dental care you need. Unfortunately, avoiding the dentist might only make dental problems worse, causing a heightened fear of treatments and continuing a cycle of dental avoidance. Dr. Pearce is happy to meet with you to discuss your feelings around dentistry and explain dental procedures to help you feel more comfortable and in control of the situation. We have the ability to use a wonderful tool called IV sedation where patients can expect to take a nice nap while vast amounts of dentistry are accomplished and wake up with no memory of any part of the procedure. Terrified patients who see us and have dental care while sedated will always say about their visits, “It was great. I felt nothing and I don’t remember anything”. Doesn’t that sound like a great way to make your journey to the dental health and awesome smile you deserve? Please call our office at 315-217-5480 to learn more about how we can assist you.