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What Causes Dental Phobia?

April 19, 2021

Do you tend to feel anxious or fearful whenever you have to go to the dental office? This is actually incredibly common. Studies find that more than 50% of Americans suffer from at least some level of dental anxiety or fear. For some, dental phobia is a serious issue that leaves people terrified, even if they know that their fears aren’t rational. Fortunately, with modern dental technology, there is a solution for those who are dealing with this issue. Continue reading to learn more about the cause of dental phobia in Lake Havasu City and what you can do to combat it.

What Causes Dental Anxiety and Phobia?

Often times, fear of the dental office is caused by other underlying phobias. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Fear of Pain: If you had a negative dental experience a while back or have heard a dental horror story from another person, this could be the reason behind your phobia of pain at the dental office. The good news is that with modern dental advances in technology and medicine, dental procedures today involve very little to no discomfort!
  • Fear of Needles: When patients require a dental procedure, sometimes the dentist injects a local anesthetic into the area in order to prevent pain. Many people are not fully comfortable with the idea of needles, but most are able to put up with it for the few needed moments.
  • Lack of Control: When you are reclined in a dental chair with your mouth open, and you cannot see exactly what your dentist is doing, you may feel like you lack control.

How Can Sedation Dentistry Help?

Your dentist sees many patients, so they understand that dental anxiety is very common. This is why they have several options available in order to help patients feel more relaxed during their treatment. Here are the most common options:

  • Nitrous Oxide: You probably know this substance by its common name, “laughing gas.” This mild sedative is inhaled and works very quickly. It causes you to experience a light euphoric feeling soon after you inhale it through a nasal mask. You will be conscious the entire time but feel much more relaxed. As soon as the mask is removed, the effects will wear off. This way you can drive yourself to and from your appointment. This is ideal for patients who have mild dental anxiety.
  • Oral Conscious Sedation: This option involves taking a prescribed pill about an hour before your appointment. By the time you get to the office, you will feel perfectly relaxed. Because this method has stronger effects and takes longer to wear off, you will need a trusted friend or family member to take you to and from the dental office. This is best for people who have moderate or severe dental anxiety.

Just because you have dental anxiety doesn’t mean that you need to avoid seeing your dentist. You have options thanks to sedation dentistry in Lake Havasu City so that you can get the treatment you need without having to worry about your phobias.

About the Author

Dr. Ryan Kurtz earned his DMD from Midwestern University’s Arizona campus and has completed extensive advanced training in dental implant procedures through multiple prestigious organizations. He also performed an oral surgery externship at Highland Hospital where he worked directly with their Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery team. To learn more about oral sedation or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (928) 455-2601.