What is the Difference Between Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia?

Like so many things in life, dental fear is different for every person who suffers from the condition. Some people will eventually give in to the pain of dental problems and go to the dentist. However, there are some patients who are so crippled by their fear of the dentist’s office that they will allow their teeth to rot and fall out, without ever seeking professional care. Whatever the extent of your dental anxiety or phobia, your Wilkes-Barre sedation dentist, Dr. James DeFinnis, wants you to know that you, too, can have a beautiful and healthy smile.

Dental Anxiety

Patients with dental anxiety simply dislike going to the dentist, and avoid their regular six-month exams and cleanings. Visiting your Wilkes-Barre dentist bi-annually is essential in maintaining good oral health. However, patients who avoid basic preventative measures often realize too late that simple issues that could have been repaired have now snowballed into oral disease. Not only do they have tooth pain, but they are at risk of tooth loss.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, don’t let your dislike of the dentist’s chair keep you from maintaining good oral health. We offer sedation options for all of our procedures, including exams and cleanings. We can numb your mouth with oral anesthetics, and ease your mind with inhalation or oral sedation. If your fear is less about pain and more about the prognosis, Dr. DeFinnis will work with you to conquer your dental problems one-by-one in an efficient and stress-free manner.

Dental Phobia

Dental phobics have an intense fear of the dentist. Often, they had a bad experience in the past and have sworn off dentistry for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, even with the most stringent at-home oral hygiene regimen, dental problems can develop and turn into disease without a regular examination by a professional. Regardless, people with dental fear are so afraid of dentistry they will often endure intense tooth pain and, ultimately, tooth loss.

There is no reason for anyone to suffer with dental pain and tooth loss because they are afraid to go to the dentist. Dr. DeFinnis provides a patient-centered environment, and will work with you to determine your level of dental fear. If you are afraid to even step inside a dentist’s office, we can discuss sedation options over the phone. For the most apprehensive of patients, we offer an array of sedation delivery methods:

• Inhalation sedation, or nitrous oxide, which has analgesic and anesthetic properties.

• Oral sedation, which is an anti-anxiety medication taken by mouth that eases the mind of the patient and provides an amnesia-like effect.

• IV sedation, which is a stronger anti-anxiety medication that is delivered directly into the bloodstream. It works almost immediately. Patients usually sleep right through their treatment.

If you suffer from dental anxiety and fear, and would like to discuss sedation options, please call Back Mountain Dental at (570) 763-4360. Dr. James C. DeFinnis is a Pennsylvania Cosmetic, Family & Sedation dentist serving Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Kingston, Forty Fort and Dallas, PA.

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