Understanding the Common Causes of Dental Anxiety

When it comes to receiving family dental care, Roxborough, Colorado patients often have mixed feelings. Many understand the important role receiving regular dental care plays in helping to maintain and improve their oral health. Yet, many patients actively avoid visiting the dentist due to feelings of dental anxiety.

If you feel anxious or nervous whenever you consider visiting the dentist, know that you’re not alone. According to a recent study it’s estimated that 61 percent of Americans experience some level of dental anxiety. This can range from the minor – feeling anxious when at the dentist’s office – to the severe – only willing to schedule dental care when in extreme discomfort.

For patients that fall somewhere in-between, dental care becomes a necessary inconvenience they only endure because they want to continue having a smile they can feel confident in showing. A desire to enjoy a healthy, attractive-looking smile can help to offset some misgivings about visiting the dentist. But if patients had a better understand about why they dislike visiting the dentist maybe they could come to terms with their anxiety and overcome their phobia.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why patients avoid seeing a dentist.

Common Causes of Dental Phobia

For decades, researchers have examined the causes of dental anxiety and dental phobia. In fact, seven different scales exist that work to measure how patients experience their fear of the dentist. In surveys, researchers have successfully identified three primary reasons why when it comes to receiving family dental care, Roxborough, Colorado patients may choose to avoid seeing a dentist.

  • Fear of being judge. Many people avoid seeing a dentist out of a fear of being judge due to their poor oral health. In their minds, people expect to receive ridicule and judgement from a dentist because they don’t brush or floss as much as needed, have a few cavities, or gums that bleed. Unfortunately, the longer patients delay seeing the dentist, the more likely their oral health will suffer as a direct result. This creates a catch-22 scenario where avoiding the dentist because you have poor oral health only guarantees your oral health becomes poor as a result.
  • Bad past experience. Dentists are people prone to making mistakes just like everybody else. Unfortunately, when a dentist makes a mistake treating a patient, that can create a negative impression the patient applies to all other dentists in the future. Even though that one dental experience is the exception, not the rule, some patients have a hard time not focusing on the bad when considering future care.
  • Pain. By far, the most common reason patients actively avoid visiting a dentist is due to the perception that it will hurt. Whether a fear of needles, drills, or even the uncomfortable experience of having another person probe your mouth, the perception of pain is one many patients have permanently linked to dental care in their head.

Sadly, each and every one of these reasons patients use to actively avoid visiting a dentist are simply not true.

What Visiting the Dentist is Really Like

Like with many phobias, patients buildup in their minds scenarios that are far worse than what the reality of the situation actually suggests. Let’s take a look at the three reasons listed above and how they would really play out.

  • Judgement. Dentist don’t judge patients who have poor oral health. Like any type of doctor, a dentist’s job is to help a patient recover from any type of injury or disease, not to laugh at that person’s misfortune. If you avoid visiting the dentist out of a fear of judgement, know that our team at Roxborough Family Dental is here to help, not to make you feel self-conscious about the current state of your oral health.
  • Poor past experience. We’ve all had bad experiences dealing with professionals. Whether a haircut you didn’t like, a car repair that went over estimate, or a dental visit that didn’t go as planned. But just because of one bad experience doesn’t mean you should give up on the entire profession. At Roxborough Family Dental, we’re here to provide you with the quality dental care needed to look and feel your best. Our dentists go above and beyond to ensure every visit will meet your needs and exceed your expectations.
  • Pain. Dental care has come a long way in terms of pain management. New technological advances have made even the most fearsome of dental care procedures such as a root canal therapy and dental implant placement nearly discomfort free. Advances in sedation means that patients can decide how lucid they wish to remain during a procedure. If pain is a concern, know that dental care today is as pain-free as possible.

Don’t let a fear of the dentist keep you from receiving the dental care you need. Contact our office today to schedule your next exam and cleaning from the gentle and compassionate team at Roxborough Family Dental.

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