At the Placerville Dental Group, we are fully aware that going to the dentist is not considered as enjoyable as a “walk in the park.” Most people have some level of anxiety when they visit the dentist, beginning with the mere thought of the dental office and what goes on there. We understand this fear. In fact, dental anxiety is a subject of research in many dental schools and universities, including different locations like Florida, Sicily and India. Let’s discuss the findings from research into this fear that often prevents people from receiving necessary dental care.
Dental Anxiety: Men versus Women
Differences between the sexes intrudes into every avenue of life sooner or later. Independent studies researching the effects of dental anxiety explored this question, using a series of questionnaires. In most studies, the Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS) and the Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) measured the results, supplemented with comments and interviews. The questionnaires were filled out before and during dental visits. The international results show a noticeable increase in dental anxiety with female patients. There is one exception, however, since Australian men are statistically more likely to avoid visiting the dentist than Australian women.
Contributing Factors to Dental Anxiety
Anticipation of a dental visit increases the anxiety of many patients. Results from studies examining this phenomena point to circumstances that affected dental anxiety in both sexes, including:
- Preexisting stressful situations, like work or life conditions
- Previous bad dental experiences, especially during youth
- Low thresholds for pain
- A perceived “vulnerability” during dental procedures
- Other phobias, such as a fear of needles or tools
- Visiting the dentist infrequently or irregularly
- Exposure of preexisting dental issues
Did you notice those last two? Many people experience dental anxiety because they don’t visit the dentist on a regular basis, or they’re afraid (ashamed?) of showing us the current state of their dental health. Please remember that the Placerville Dental Group is a dental office, staffed by professionals who care about your oral health, as well as your comfort.
Alleviating Dental Anxiety
We want to help you improve and maintain your oral health, and we want you to feel comfortable while we do it. If you have any insecurity or concern, any at all, please let us know. If something would make you more comfortable during your visit, talk to us about it. We can reposition the dental chair, focus on a lighter touch, use background music, let you wear headphones or earphones, or even introduce you to the gold standard of pain-free treatment — sleep dentistry.
Please give us a call or schedule an appointment here on our website. Whether you’re a man, woman, or child, our goal is to bring you a healthy smile that you’re confident to show others. There is no need to be anxious over that!