For people who are afraid of heights, it would be a nightmare to be at the top of a very tall building looking down. For someone who is claustrophobic, the idea being trapped in an elevator might make them sweat. But for people with dental anxiety, it’s the thought of the dentist’s chair that fills them with dread. And while it may not be as common as a fear of heights or a fear of enclosed spaces, the fear of the dentist is still strikingly common: Estimates suggest that as many as forty million people in the United States suffer from dental anxiety. If you’re one of them, you need a dentist who understands.
Skipping the Dentist Can Endanger Your Teeth
Unfortunately, while someone with a fear of heights can avoid tall buildings, avoiding the dentist is much more dangerous. Making biannual appointments with your dentist for cleanings and checkups is an essential part of maintaining good oral health for a few reasons.
First of all, no matter how well you clean your teeth at home, you aren’t perfect! Any plaque that you miss in your home oral hygiene routines eventually hardens into tartar, which only your dentist can remove. Your regular cleanings clear away any buildup that your tooth brushing and flossing may have missed. Do you have particularly bad plaque buildup in one part of the mouth? Your dentist can let you know that your routines need to be adjusted. If you’re consistently missing the backs of your upper front teeth, or if you aren’t flossing frequently enough, a cleaning gives your dentist an opportunity to help you course correct.
But those appointments aren’t just cleanings! They’re also checkups, so your dentist can keep an eye out for larger oral health problems. If your dentist sees early signs of decay, gum disease, or even oral cancer, you can treat those things more effectively.
People with dental anxiety may even be able to muster up the courage to go in for a cleaning, but still be unwilling to follow up if they need a more serious procedure like a filling. Unfortunately, the more you avoid your dentist, the more serious your oral health problems can get — requiring even scarier, more intensive procedures. It’s a vicious cycle.
Relaxation Dentistry to the Rescue
Luckily, you can interrupt that cycle with the right dentist. Your dentist isn’t your enemy! They want you to have good oral health just as much as you do. An experienced dentist can offer support to patients with dental anxiety, as long as you communicate your fears to them.
If you find that fear of the dentist is getting in the way of your oral health, NuCalm Relaxation Dentistry might be the answer. This drug-free relaxation treatment is a great alternative to sedation dentistry for people who are uncomfortable with sedatives, or simply want to be able to drive themselves to and from their dental appointments. Instead of dulling your brain’s responses in order to stop stress, NuCalm stimulates your body’s natural defenses to calm the brain and trigger your mind’s own calming neurotransmitters.
With NuCalm, you can stop worrying about the stress and anxiety of a dental appointment, and get the care you need to maintain good oral health. Call élan at (918) 528-3330 or contact us online to learn more about relaxation dentistry.