Regular dental care is just as important as brushing and flossing; however, even a routine cleaning and checkup isn’t easy for everyone. If your heart races or your palms sweat at just the thought of seeing a dentist, you’re not alone. About 36% of Americans have some degree of dental-related anxiety. A painful procedure in the past is enough to make anyone dread the dentist, but a bad experience isn’t the only cause of dental fears. Believe it or not, the media is a leading contributor. Here’s how what you see on TV and online can influence your experience in the dentist’s chair.
The Media’s Influence on Dentistry
It’s rare to see a dentist portrayed in a positive way in movies and TV shows. Some are depicted as evil, malicious, boring, or profit-seeking. Take the 1986 film “Little Shop of Horrors” as an example. Steve Martin plays a sadistic dentist who takes pleasure in inflicting pain on his patients.
From “Finding Nemo” to “The In-Laws,” it’s rare for the media to show what it’s actually like to visit a dentist. The false image of dentistry and the unknown can fuel dental fears, but movies and TV shows aren’t the only influences.
The internet provides a plethora of information right at your fingertips. Many people Google their symptoms and self-diagnose, which can cause fear levels to soar as you expect the worst. Although the internet can be helpful, the amount of misinformation online can add to dental fears.
Social media sites aren’t any better. While there are many amazing videos of people transforming their smiles with cosmetic dentistry, there are also patients sharing their horror stories on YouTube, TikTok, and other social media platforms. Although the videos may get a lot of views, one person’s bad experience can make someone think twice before visiting a dentist.
Don’t Fear Your Dentist
No matter what’s behind your dental phobias, you can’t avoid the dentist forever. Your oral and general health relies on seeing your dentist every 6 months. If you’re uncomfortable with the sights and sounds of the office or fear pain, you can sit back and relax with sedation dentistry, like nitrous oxide.
Better known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a safe solution for patients needing regular preventive services or restorative treatments. However, if you need extensive dental work or a lengthy procedure, IV sedation may be a better option. You can enjoy your time in the dentist’s chair with sedation dentistry.
Don’t let false narratives and viral videos cost you your smile. You can get the high-quality care you need with a qualified sedation dentist by your side.
About Dr. Jeff Lee
Dr. Lee earned his dental degree at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry and continued his education in oral and maxillofacial surgery. He has regularly pursued continuing education in many advanced services, including dental implants and sedation dentistry. Request an appointment through our website or call (740) 421-4085.