If you are afraid to see your dentist, you are not alone! In our last blog article, we shared an eye-opening statistic from the British Medical Journal that shows most individuals fear the dentist. Specifically, 1 in 5 individuals who were surveyed reported fearing the dentist more than snakes, spiders, or heights. For Miami dentists, this statistic shows that greater care must be taken in educating patients of the importance of regular dental cleanings to prevent oral health problems. Additionally, it illustrates a large need for patients to learn to cope with dental fear and anxiety.
Nearly 1 out of every 5 individuals fears the dentist more than snakes, spiders, or heights according to a recent British Medical Journal survey (i). Alarmingly, that survey also indicates that the 1,000 respondents polled fear the dentist up to 10 times more than any other medical professional. This is disheartening for Miami dental professionals, indicating that as many as 1 in 5 Miami residents may be avoiding regular cleanings and other procedures. With the tooth decay and gum disease on the rise, holistic dentistry practitioners are beginning to ask: How can we help patients overcome the fear and anxiety associated with seeing a health professional?
Fear can be debilitating. It can consume the imagination, building a strong case for avoiding a certain person, place, or action. This process is helpful at times. Fear of getting a speeding ticket, for example, may impact your behavior and cause you to drive with caution. Other times, fear can be misplaced and extremely hazardous. Fear of health problems, hospitals, or health professionals represents just three instances when fear may cause individuals to compromise their long term health, causing more harm than good.