Kelly Hudson was 10 years old when a dentist failed to anesthetize his back molar properly and hit a nerve dead-on—resulting in an intense fear of the dentist that lasted for many years. In fact, his dental anxiety was so overwhelming that he couldn’t even go near a dentist’s office, let alone be in one.
Making a Choice
In his mid-twenties, though, Kelly had to come to grips with the fact that years of avoiding the dentist had come at the cost of his oral health.
He relates, “Among other issues, I had a fractured back molar that began to decay. I was so nervous about going to the dentist that I did nothing about it. At first, I minimized the situation because I told myself it was just a minor discomfort and it would go away on its own. I was wrong.”
He continued, “As the decay progressed, the discomfort intensified until it became a constant, unbearable pain. Yet, my paralyzing fear made enduring the pain still seem a more acceptable solution than a dental visit.”
Do you find yourself relating with Kelly’s sentiments? Have you avoided getting needed dental work because of excessive anxiety? If so, you are not alone. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, an estimated 35 million Americans experience significant apprehension about dental procedures, while an additional 10 to 12 million are considered to be “dental phobic” and avoid needed dental care altogether.
How was Kelly able to address his dental fears and get the help that his smile required?
Getting Needed Help
Kelly explains, “As apprehensive as I was, I began considering getting professional help because the pain was simply not going to disappear on its own. I discovered that there was online support for people suffering dental anxiety just like me. I also asked my family and close friends if they could recommend a dentist that would understand and acknowledge my concerns and fears. A lot of the anxiety that I had stemmed from the feeling I would have no control or say about the procedure.”
“When I found the dentist with the expertise to address the dental anxiety I was dealing with, it was such a relief. I loved the fact that I felt respected and understood. The office atmosphere was soothing and was nothing like the experience I remembered as I child. We even arranged for a hand signal that I could make to immediately stop the procedure if I started to feel overwhelmed.”
“I was so surprised,” Kelly exclaimed. “The procedure was not at all the traumatic experience that I expected. I only wish that I had got my teeth looked at sooner. I’ve also recently taken advantage of sedation options to get some other work done that I would have never dreamed of having before. I never thought my teeth could look this great! I feel confident, I feel relieved! ”
There are a number of reasons why people can develop a dental phobia. If you have been holding back from getting professional assistance because you suffer from dental anxiety, we understand what you are going through. Please feel free to contact us for a stress-free, no obligation consultation to see how we can provide you with the assistance that you need to get your smile back on track.
Just imagine, a healthy pain-free smile can be yours in no time, with assistance from our sedation dentistry in Columbia, SC, and our compassionate dental team. We hope to hear from you soon!
If you could finally relieve your dental anxiety, what would you want to improve about your smile?