Dental anxiety is very common and in patients of all ages. The feelings of anxiousness, fear or nervousness are actually pretty normal. However, when it becomes a problem is if dental anxiety is so bad that appointments or procedures are skipped out of fear. Avoiding the dentist can do long-term damage to the teeth, gums and jaw, which can result in serious complications to one's overall health.
So, why does dental anxiety even occur to begin with? A lot of people are simply afraid due to a long history of myths about pain. Keep reading to learn more about what is true and what is not.
Debunking pain myths that cause dental anxiety
Outlined below are a few common myths regarding pain at the dentist. Debunking these myths is necessary in order to help reduce and eliminate dental anxiety.
Check-up appointments are uncomfortable
There is a myth that routine dental check-up appointments are uncomfortable, which is not necessarily true! Some individuals may experience tenderness or sensitivity; however, talking with the dentist beforehand about these concerns is a great way to prevent any sort of discomfort. Check-up appointments involve an examination, cleaning and x-rays, all of which are not known to cause any pain.
Dental restorations are painful
Dental restorations include a number of things, such as crowns, fillings and veneers. All three of these placement procedures do require the removal of damaged or decayed parts of the tooth, which can cause some annoyance and discomfort but no pain. Modern-day technology has allowed for the evolution of numbing agents, which block pain and limit the patient's ability to feel anything during the procedure. However, numbing agents are administered via an injection, which leads to the next myth.
Numbing injections hurt
Numbing injections are put directly into the gums so that it can disperse into the roots of the tooth, thus eliminating the ability to feel anything. The gums are the softest tissues in the mouth, which makes them quite sensitive. The myth that these injections are unbearable is far from the truth. Most people report that the numbing injection feels like a small prick that lasts no more than two seconds. And, once the initial discomfort is felt, the injection starts to set in, thus numbing the area.
Root canals are the most painful procedure
Another common myth is that root canal procedures are the most painful known to man, which is again, far from the truth. Long ago when root canals were first being performed, pain medication and numbing agents did not exist, thus resulting in a lot of pain. However, modern-day technology ensures that patients are not able to feel anything during the procedure. Afterward, there will be some soreness, which can be remedied with pain and anti-inflammatory medications. While the procedure does have a reputation for being painful, the result is a healthier tooth that will not cause any aches or pains.
Find out more from the dentist
Want to find out more about dental anxiety? Talk with a dentist to get started! Questions and concerns about these myths can be addressed. Reach out today!
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