A report published in the 2010 issue of the Australian Dental Journal revealed that about 16% of all adults in Australia possess a high dental fear. Such dental anxiety may not seem like a major issue, yet it does have major implications on the health of many Australians.
When someone is afraid of visiting the dentist, he/she would end up having poorer oral health as well as visiting the dentist less regularly. These are the sort of people who simply don't show up for their scheduled appointments with the dentist or even cancel such appointments.
Why People Fear Dentists
People who fear dentists have varying reasons for their fear. In certain instances, adults still have painful memories, etched within their minds, of bad experiences they went through when visiting the dentist during their childhood years. Indeed, children can be deeply affected by painful experiences at the hands of un-empathic dentists, which will carry on into their adult years.
In other cases, some people may have the mistaken belief that dental treatment would hurt. Fortunately, dental professionals are increasingly aware of their patients' fear. Dentists are adopting effective, patient-friendly strategies to provide stress-free and gentle dental care to all patients.
Through a variety of methods, dental professionals can effectively identify and counter dental anxiety in patients.
Importance Of Dentist Visits
A realization of the importance of regular dental check-up might help you overcome your fear. Accessing dental services is instrumental in ensuring good oral health. Indeed, the American Dental Association recommends that adults should have a dental visit at least once within a 6-month period.
You should realize that dentists don't just treat oral health issues. They also serve the vital role of helping you maintain healthy gums and teeth. This means that regular dental visits will make you less prone to poor oral health.
Other Reasons For Avoiding Dentists
Fear isn't the only reason why people avoid dentists. Many other reasons exist, including cost constraints. A 2011 report published in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reveals that more than one-third of Australian dentate adults either delayed or completely avoided visiting the dentist because of cost issues.
Not having dental insurance is another factor that contributes to avoidance of dental visits. A 2011 study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reveals that double the percentage of uninsured adults (45%) avoided visiting the dentist, as compared to insured adults (22.9%). This highlights the critical role that insurance plays in oral health. Upfront barriers, in particular, are a potential barrier that insurance can help to overcome.
Patient apathy is another aspect that contributes to avoidance of dental visits. Such an indifference towards dentistry can adversely affect oral health.
There also exist instances in which people only visit the dentist as a last resort. Rather than going for regular dental check-ups, they only visit the dentist when affected by particular dental issues. This isn't advisable since prevention of dental problems (made possible through regular dental visits) is a much better oral health plan as compared to treatment of dental problems.
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Article Added on Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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