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Q: What causes dental fears? Can they be overcome?

Posted October 16, 2013 in Advice Column, Ankeny

A: Did you know that adults and children alike suffer from a fear of the dentist? Oftentimes dental fears exist despite the knowledge that dentistry has a positive impact on oral health. But what is behind these fears? And what steps can be taken to overcome them?

Dental fears can stem from many sources. Some people have had bad experiences with dentistry in the past. Others have bad gag reflexes, prompting them to shy away from dental treatment. Still others feel uncomfortable not being in control of a situation. Whatever the cause, the fear involved is very real and debilitating.

Thus, the solution to dental fears is often a combination of determination on the part of the patients and good communication and understanding on the part of a dental professional. It is important that trust develops in cases where a patient is experiencing fear, as that trust can serve as a bridge for overcoming apprehension.

In very severe cases, patients may also opt to be sedated during treatment. Sedation dentistry calms patients, putting them into a relaxed state for their dental procedures. In this relaxed state, dental work can be completed quickly and efficiently without discomfort or alarm on the part of the patient.

If you struggle with a fear of dentistry, don’t suffer in silence. Your Ankeny dentist, Dr. Erika Peddicord, strives to put her patients at ease through communication and genuine concern. If you would like to schedule an appointment or a consultation with Dr. Peddicord, please call our office at (515) 963-3339.

Information provided by Dr. Erika Peddicord, Peddicord Family Dentistry, 121 N.E. 18th St., Suite C, 963-3339.

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