Having routine dental checkups and professional cleanings are critical to protecting your dental health. However, an estimated 9-15% of Americans have such a severe fear of the dentist that they avoid seeing a dentist. If you’re not having preventative dental care, you’re putting yourself at risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
AnnMarie Olson, DDS and her team of experienced and gentle dentists at AnnMarie Olson DDS PA in Austin, Texas, is committed to helping you and your family feel comfortable and confident while under our care. All of our staff are highly trained and friendly and compassionate to help you feel at ease. Additionally, we offer sedation dentistry services to help you relax while receiving critical dental care.
What is dental phobia?
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that causes intense, pervasive, and often disproportionate fears and worries about specific things or situations. While many people don’t necessarily look forward to dental care, they attend their appointments and have preventive cleanings and checkups to protect their oral health.
If you have a dental phobia, your fears and worries about having common dental procedures cause disruptive symptoms like:
- A sense of doom or danger
- Intense and distracting fear
And perhaps most critically, your dental phobia can trigger avoidance behaviors like not scheduling dental cleaning and checkups.
What are the risks of avoiding preventive dental care?
Everyone has bacteria and other microorganisms in their mouths. Most of them are harmless, but some types of bacteria eat away on your tooth enamel and gums, which can lead to a variety of dental problems when unmanaged.
The inside of your mouth is warm and moist — a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Additionally, the potentially harmful bacteria in your mouth thrive on the sugars released by the food you eat. Even if you brush and floss correctly every day, the bacteria can increase and cause plaque and tartar to build upon your teeth.
Plaque and tartar create a film that covers your teeth but allows the bacteria inside to continue to erode them. Eventually, the bacteria gets between your teeth and gums. This leads to gum disease, gum recession, and eventual tooth loss.
What is sedation dentistry?
Here at AnnMarie Olson DDS PA, we offer sedation to help you relax during your dental appointment — whether you’re having cosmetic dentistry done or a more invasive procedure like full mouth rehabilitation.
While you’re under sedation, you feel sleepy and relaxed but can still communicate with your dentist and follow instructions. You will need to have a friend or relative drive you to and from your appointment before and after your sedation.
If you’ve been putting off dental care because of fear or anxiety, give us a call or make an appointment online. You can talk to one of our dentists about sedation dentistry and how it can help you get the dental treatments you need to protect your teeth and oral health.