As much as the issue of dental anxiety has been brought into the limelight, there is still a stigma around feeling fearful of seeing the dentist. We encourage patients in the McLean area not to fall for the idea that it’s “silly” to be scared of the dentist. There are several reasons why fear may develop and, to be honest, none of them matter much. Our priority in serving patients’ needs is to help them avoid the long-term consequences that could occur if dental anxiety is not managed well (and by managed well, we mean with sedation dentistry).
What are those consequences?
Not knowing you have gum disease.
It is not a secret that people who have dental anxiety usually don’t see the dentist as often as is recommended. With the prevalence of gum disease already high, and the risks increasing in the absence of routine dental care, there is an excellent chance that dental anxiety will lead to inflammation and infection in the gums. The danger of gum disease is that this condition is subtle for quite a long time and then, seemingly out of nowhere, the gums take a dramatic turn for the worse.
It is critical to obtain treatment for gum disease as early as possible, so other organs in the body do not become affected by the bacteria that leave the mouth and enter the bloodstream.
The sad thing about dental anxiety is that the people who have fear related to dental care really want to avoid pain and suffering. Unfortunately, their avoidance of dental care during times when teeth and gums don’t hurt often leads to painful problems that only worsen over time as care is continually avoided. What could have initially been restored with a small filling becomes a problem that requires more extensive treatment.
Feeling embarrassed about your teeth.
When you don’t see the dentist, you miss out on the opportunity to keep your teeth shiny and white. Tartar that builds up at the gum line eventually becomes visible. The presence of tartar can cause noticeable redness in the gums, and it also affects breath. The problems caused by lack of dental care add up to the decline of the smile, which subtracts from your self-confidence.
We can Help You Manage Dental Anxiety
Dr. Lee is a DOCS Certified sedation dentist in McLean, VA who has helped many people regain trust in dentistry. Learn more about your options for sedation dentistry at 703-448-1020.