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Dental Anxiety - Roslyn, NY

Eliminate Pain,
Anxiety and Fear

dental patient smiling
"Doctor Gitlin Understands My Dental Anxiety."

A Compassionate Touch Eases Anxiety

Dental work is the fifth most common cause of anxiety. According to research, an estimated 50-80% of adults in the U.S. have some degree of dental anxiety, ranging from mild to severe. Females have higher rates of dental anxiety than males, as do younger patients. More than 20% of patients with dental anxiety don’t see a dentist regularly, while 9-15% avoid care altogether. Fear and anxiety clearly contribute to avoidance of dental care. This can have devastating consequences on your oral, general and mental health. At Gitlin Dental Group, we have vast experience treating individuals with dental anxiety in Roslyn, NY, including patients with Alzheimer’s, cerebral palsy and developmental disabilities.

According to research, an estimated 50-80% of adults in the U.S. have some degree of dental anxiety

Dr. Ari Gitlin with patient

What Causes Dental Anxiety and Fear?

First, it’s important to understand the difference between dental anxiety and dental fear or phobia. Dental anxiety is a sensation of discomfort and uncertainty typically associated with the dental appointment. Dental fear or phobia is a far less common and serious condition that can cause unrealistic and intense responses of terror and panic—sometimes at the mere mention of professional dental care. Dental phobia typically requires professional mental healthcare interventions (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy). People with dental anxiety may experience mild pain from a dental procedure, but their memory of that pain becomes exaggerated, thereby triggering a continual cycle of fear. Studies show that the level of anxiety experienced while anticipating dental treatment is higher than the level of anxiety experienced during the actual treatment. Research indicates procedures involving a needle or drill evoke the most fear, while invasive procedures such as scaling, fillings, extractions and root canal therapy are associated with more reported pain, especially in those with high dental anxiety.

Causes of dental anxiety include:

Gitlin dental staff

Signs of Dental Anxiety or Fear

Dental anxiety is associated with appointment cancellations, impaired health outcomes and heightened perceptions of pain. Dental anxiety or fear can evoke physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral responses. Signs include:

Breaking the Cycle of Dental Fear

A cycle of dental avoidance results in worsening oral health issues. Tooth decay can lead to gum disease, which can in turn cause tooth loss. In addition, gum disease is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and dementia, and can even lead to pregnancy complications. Poor oral health can also result in shame and avoidance of the dentist until painful or unbearable symptoms drive a patient to seek treatment. This pattern reinforces fear of visiting a dentist and feelings of dental anxiety. A recent study confirmed that individuals with high levels of dental fear have poor oral health habits (infrequent tooth brushing, tobacco use and unhealthy eating habits) which increases the need for more involved procedures when they finally seek treatment.
dental patient smiling
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Dedicated to Stress-Free Healthy Smiles and Lives

Not surprisingly, studies show regular dental visits are associated with decreased dental anxiety. At Gitlin Dental Group, we develop warm and trusting relationships with our patients that can lessen dental anxiety, or eliminate it altogether! We treat generations of families that have entrusted us with their smiles for years, so if you feel anxious about the sights, sounds or smells of a dental visit, our team is dedicated to alleviating dental anxiety in Roslyn, NY. Dr. Ari Gitlin is a trained dental anesthesiologist with extensive skills administering all forms of sedation to ease pain and increase the comfort of patients, including those with high dental anxiety.

You’ll feel comfortable in our care!

Schedule a fear-free visit today.

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