Tag Archives: dental anxiety

The Relationship Between Dental Phobia and Tooth Decay

Fear of the dentist, technically known as odontophobia or dentophobia, is one of the most common fears of people of all ages. Just the thought of walking in the door of the dental office is enough to make some quake in their boots. Whether they’ve had a bad experience in the past, apprehension about the “drill,” or another root cause, fear of the dentist can make taking good care of teeth much more difficult.

A new study from the Kings College of London Dental Institute found that people with dental anxiety are more likely to experience tooth decay, cavities, and tooth loss. This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, as dental phobia sometimes influences its sufferers to skip routine dental appointments or choose short-term solutions (tooth extraction) over more invasive long-term solutions (tooth restoration over several visits).

The study, published in the British Dental Journal,  noted that previous research has found that “individuals with dental phobia express negative feelings such as sadness, tiredness, discouragement and general anxiety, less vitality, and more exhaustion. Embarrassment (a combination of guilt and bad conscience) of their poor teeth will prevent them from smiling and showing their teeth because phobic people rate their oral and general health as poor and frequently perceive that they would require dental treatment upon a dental visit.”

If you are scared of the dentist, you’re not alone. There are plenty of ways to overcome the fear, whether through therapy, bringing a loved one to the office with you, or by coming in to talk to a new dentist before your first appointment. At Vacendak Dentistry, we make every effort to put our patients at ease. Our comfortable exam rooms, peaceful environment, and friendly, knowledgeable staff, can make the whole experience much more pleasant.  Routine dental appointments are generally painless and prevent more painful procedures in the future!

Call our Chesapeake office today at (757) 609-3510 to schedule a dental visit or to learn more about our practice.