Dentophobia is a very real and distressing condition. It is, as you may have guessed, fear of dentists. Of course, most people aren’t afraid of dentists themselves, but of the work that dentists do. Those fears lead to a great many people not getting the dental care they need, and is part of the reason so many Americans experience dental decay and even tooth loss.
A fear is not the same as a phobia, though, and most people have fear of dental work, rather than an actual phobia. We’re here to ease some of your fear and anxiety about common dental procedures, which aren’t nearly as bad as you may think!
David Basar, DDS, and the team at Advanced Smile Dentistry perform hundreds of fillings, extractions, and root canals every year from their office in Toms River, New Jersey. Our patients often have apprehensions. This post explains why you need not worry.
Fillings aren’t fearful
Most people have some level of tooth decay. When that decay is correctly treated, you don’t need to worry. But if you don’t get it taken care of because you have dental anxiety, that decay can become a cavity which, in turn, can lead to big problems and more complex treatments later.
Fillings that are made of composite are the same color as your teeth, so you don’t have to worry about how your teeth will look. Perhaps more importantly, our team uses local anesthesia so that you remain comfortable throughout the procedure.
While you’re relaxed and pain-free, your dentist removes any decay and thoroughly cleans your tooth so you don’t develop an infection. Then he fills your tooth with the composite which hardens immediately. To preserve your bite and other teeth, your dentist then carefully shapes the filling so it mimics your natural tooth.
Easing the fear of extraction
An X-ray reveals when you need an extraction. The position of the roots of your tooth and the underlying bone guides the plan to remove your tooth.
The idea of extraction probably gets your anxiety humming, but don’t worry. Most of our patients are perfectly comfortable during the procedure with local anesthesia. If your situation is more complicated or you’re having multiple teeth extracted, our team may suggest additional pain relief measures.
Reducing the fear of a root canal
Beneath your gums, your teeth’s roots stretch down to your jaw bone. The root contains dental pulp and nerves. The area around those structures is the “root canal.” If you need a root canal procedure, you have infection or decay in that area that needs to be removed in order to save your tooth.
Although the name of the treatment strikes fear in many people, today’s root canals aren’t like the ones of decades past. It’s the infection that causes pain, so you’re likely to find that you have far less, or even no, pain following the procedure.
Modern-day root canals are as routine as fillings, and can be completed in an appointment or two. To ease your mind further, it may be helpful to know that our team uses anesthesia to numb your tooth and the area around it before performing a root canal so you remain pain free.
Once the infected or decayed material is removed, your dentist fills the area, which stabilizes and seals your tooth so no more bacteria can get in. After that you may get a temporary crown, depending on your situation.
No more fear of dental care
It’s important to get proper dental care, because oral health is part of your overall health. Let our team help you take good care of your teeth without fear or anxiety. Schedule a visit with Advanced Smile Dentistry today by calling our office or booking an appointment online.