Fear of the Dentist

Residents of Southern states are the least likely to visit a dentist annually, and 40 percent of Georgians have not received a dental checkup in the past year, according to recent Gallup polling. Fear remains a factor in keeping a scary number of people from the dentist.

Dental Visits by the Numbers

Only 60 percent of Georgia residents surveyed in the Gallup poll indicated they visited a dentist in the past 12 months, which ranks the Peach State in the bottom third nationally.

That figure, however, is not far off the national average. Gallup research also indicates that nearly one-third of American adults have not visited the dentist in the past year; only 64.7 percent of survey respondents said they visited a dentist at least once in the previous year.

Regionally, residents of the Northeast were more likely to visit the dentist. More than 70 percent of those surveyed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware,
Vermont and New Jersey reported seeing their dentist at least once over the past year.

Dental Visits: The Fear Factor

Although the Gallup surveys indicate that the likelihood of regular dental visits increases with income, dental fear is a preventive factor for many people.

A recent study regarding dental phobias conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation found that 33 percent of those surveyed fear a routine dental checkup more than other common phobias such as interacting with others. Many respondents indicated they found dentists and dental visits intimidating; 31 percent said needles and injections were the primary source of their fear, while 25 percent said pain was their most significant concern.

A previous study by the organization revealed that most citizens would prioritize social engagements over a dental exam.

Dental Phobia Solutions

The findings of surveys like those mentioned here concern dental health professionals because your oral health is directly linked to your overall well-being; if not treated, issues like cavities and gum disease can adversely impact your systemic health.

When it comes to receiving the dental care you need to support your oral health and maintain a vibrant smile, fear itself really is the only thing you have to fear. Dentistry has evolved rapidly in recent decades, and treatments are
designed for optimal patient comfort. There are also tools to help relax those who suffer from dental anxiety, including the option of sedation dentistry, which uses a prescription oral sedative to induce a sensation of deep calm for your dental visit.

An increasingly popular, drug-free option for coping with dental anxiety is NuCalm. NuCalm uses a combination of neuroscience technology and natural supplements to help you achieve a state of relaxation for your checkup or dental procedure.

Don’t let dental phobia prevent the dental care you need or cosmetic dentistry treatment you desire. If you live in the Savannah, Georgia, area and would like to learn if sedation dentistry or NuCalm is right for you, please contact the gentle, compassionate dentists at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry or call us at (912) 234-8282 to schedule your consultation.