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Don’t Be Afraid of the Dentist, Be Afraid of not Seeing One

Americans have a love hate relationship when it comes to dentists. People understand it’s important, with nearly 100% of respondents to an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey saying a smile is socially important. On the other hand, many people do whatever they can to delay seeing the dentist or even avoiding it altogether. About 100 million Americans do not see a dentist at least once a year, and in 2015, the average time between dental visits was three years. The problem with this is that delaying dental visits can lead to problems with your teeth that wind up requiring much more extensive dental work.

A number of problems can be worsened by failing to see the dentist. For example, a small cavity can grow quite large and cause a bigger problem that may not be able to be solved with a simple filling.

If you are wondering, “what is sedation dentistry?,” it’s something you might find yourself having to experience if you don’t take care of your teeth. Bad dental health can lead to teeth that become rotten and either fall out on their own or have to be pulled. If you are lucky, you may only use a few teeth and can have them replaced with dental implants, which are permanent artificial teeth that are anchored to your gums. Of course, implants aren’t an option if you lose too many teeth or if your gums are in poor shape. In that case, your only option may be to get dentures.

Another issue you might encounter if you don’t go to the dentist is other health problems caused by poor dental and gum health. If you have bad teeth and gum disease, it can increase your risk for heart problems. Bad teeth also can affect your mental health, because it can lower your self esteem and give you anxiety because of your embarrassment with how your teeth look.

What is sedation dentistry? It’s possibly something that could take away your fear of the dentist. There are various levels of sedation, and a low level can be used to help you feel more comfortable and less anxious about visiting the dentist. If that will make you see your dentist more regularly, then it’s worth it. Talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry options to make you more comfortable during your visit.

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