It is estimated that as many as 75% of US adults experience some degree of dental fear, from mild to severe. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of U.S. adults are considered to experience dental phobia; that is, they are so fearful of receiving dental treatment that they avoid dental care at all costs. Many dentally fearful people will only seek dental care when they have a dental emergency, such as a toothache or dental abscess. People who are very fearful of dental care often experience a “cycle of avoidance,” in which they avoid dental care due to fear until they experience a dental emergency requiring invasive treatment, which can reinforce their fear of dentistry.
Some 100 million Americans fail to see a dentist each year, even though regular dental examinations and good oral hygiene can prevent most dental disease. Oral health touches every aspect of our lives but is often taken for granted. During a dental visit, your teeth will be cleaned, your dentist will check the teeth, gums and tongue, and check for any other oral health problems. Your mouth is a window into the health of your body, and dentists can often spot other problems.
DO I HAVE TO GO TO THE DENTIST??
The answer is YES, you really do. I understand we all are afraid of something but avoiding the dentist isn’t going to make it any better. Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances of treatment and cure better. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living longer, healthier life. Your age, health and family history, lifestyle choices, and other important factors impact your healthcare.