If you have dental anxiety, the thought of going to the dentist may inspire feelings of dread and fear. You may hesitate or even refuse to make appointments, not just for cleanings and checkups, but even for emergency dental situations.
Studies have already shown that if you avoid the dentist, you’re putting your oral health at risk. Skipping out on dental appointments and avoiding scary procedures is provably linked to both tooth decay and tooth loss. But research also shows that the negative effects of dental anxiety reach further than just your mouth.
Dental Anxiety Lowers Quality of Life
That same King’s College London study that demonstrated the link between dental anxiety and poor oral health illustrated another regrettable side effect of dental anxiety: An overall lowered quality of life.
When it comes to the “physiological, psychological, social, and emotional wellbeing” of people with dental phobia, researchers found that even when the tooth decay and tooth loss was controlled, there was a negative impact on quality of life.
Participants who reported dental anxiety were also more likely to express negative emotions. Not only did they often report general anxiety, unrelated to dentistry, but they also reported feeling sad, discouraged, and tired — or even exhausted. Participants with dental anxiety reported less vitality overall.
In fact, the study indicated that embarrassment over their teeth even prevented many of those study participants with dental anxiety from smiling or otherwise showing their teeth as often as they otherwise would.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that research has shown that dental anxiety affects other areas of life. Earlier studies even demonstrated that people with dental anxiety experienced lower sleep quality than those without it. This is impactful because a lack of healthy sleep can open you up to a multitude of diseases and impact your day-to-day productivity and even safety during activities like driving.
Sedation Dentistry Can Turn the Tables
These are just some of the negative effects that you can experience as a result of dental anxiety. The impacts of this condition are far-reaching, and fear of the dentist can have effects ranging from the psychological to the financial and everything in between. For those who are suffering from the impacts of dental anxiety, sedation dentistry could be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Here’s how it works: After a consultation to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for oral sedation, your dentist will prescribe a medication for your next procedure. You’ll take that medication before your appointment, so that by the time you’re ready for the procedure, you’re relaxed and calm. Things that would normally create stress won’t bother you, and time will seem to pass very quickly. Afterwards, you may not even remember much of the procedure!
Sedation dentistry can make dentist visits easy, allowing you to get the dental treatment you need in order to keep not just your mouth healthy, but your mind, too! If you’re looking for a sedation dentist in Altamonte Springs, call (407) 834-6446 or contact us online to see if sedation dentistry is right for you.