5 Reasons Why Older People Fear the Dentist

5 Reasons Why Older People Fear the Dentist

The highest rate of dental fear is in the 40-64-year age range, with many people in this group avoiding trips to the dentist as much as possible.

However, dentists themselves are not scary people. They are like any other adult, just doing their job and providing a service. So, why do people fear them? Dentists shouldn’t take it personally because these common reasons for dental fear below have nothing to do with the dentist themselves.

Past Bad Experiences

Dental technology has come a long way in the last few decades, but it can be hard to see that if you’ve had previous bad experiences with archaic technology.

Many of the older generation was subjected to some uncomfortable procedures with tools that may not have been effective for the task. They may have also had no access to anaesthetic or numbing gels to make dental treatments more comfortable.

Without having follow-up visits, some people may not realise just how much technology and practices have changed for everything from check-ups and fillings to dental implants and dentures. Trips to the dentist today are much more comfortable, so it can be worth making an appointment to find out more.

Fear of Pain

If the older members of your family experienced dental procedures without anaesthetic or pain relief in their youth, the fear of experiencing pain might prevent them from making an appointment with their dentist in the decades since.

However, just like technology has come a long way, so have pain relief options. Anaesthetic injections, numbing gel, and more are commonplace in most dental clinics. You won’t have to feel significant discomfort for any dental procedure you encounter.

Fear of the Needle

At least one in ten people in Australia fear needles, which can make trips to the dentist just that little bit more uncomfortable. As anaesthetic is delivered via an injection, you may be more fearful about the pain relief than the dental procedure itself.

Alternatives like tiny electric currents are still a little way off, but your dentist may recommend numbing gel to allow for a more comfortable dental experience.

Fear of Needing Treatment

If you haven’t been to the dentist in some time, you may be worried about the likely treatments you may require. You might believe you need fillings, or maybe even a root canal or tooth removal. This fear may put you off seeing a dentist altogether, even if a check-up would reveal your oral health was fine.

The Cost

Older people who are no longer in paid work may worry about how much trips to the dentist will cost. Your oral health is linked to your overall health, which means dental care is imperative, regardless of the cost.

Depending on which dentist you visit, you may be able to take advantage of payment plans. You may also be eligible for discounts through government schemes. Alternatively, asking friends and family for help might be how you get the dental care you desperately need. If you’re not sure about your options, talk to your local dentist.

Dentists are not people to fear. If pain, needles, bad experiences, or something else is holding you back, talk to your dentist for advice. They may be able to offer solutions to your problems that see you receiving the dental care you need in a comfortable and stress-free environment.