Dental anxiety is quite common among Americans. It’s estimated that about 30-40 million people have some kind of dental anxiety. This is one of the primary reasons that so many people avoid going to the dentist for regular checkups and oral exams. If you’ve ever been curious about where you fall on the dental anxiety scale, you’re in the right place!
Corah’s anxiety scale – take the test now!
Most dentists use a rating system called “Corah’s Anxiety Scale” to diagnose patients with dental anxiety. You can take the test for yourself here! The questionnaire has only four questions, related to how you feel at the dentist’s office.
Based on the results of this questionnaire, you are placed into one of four categories. These categories are “little/no anxiety”, “moderate anxiety” “high anxiety” and “severe anxiety (phobia)”.
9 or lower – Little/no anxiety
Most people rank at 9 or lower. They may not enjoy the process of going to the dentist, but the experience is not actually traumatic or scary for them. They can handle most dental procedures without any real fear or anxiety.
9-12 – Moderate dental anxiety
Scoring a 9-12 on the anxiety scale means that you may have a moderate case of dental anxiety. You may not like going to the dentist for teeth cleanings, and may be afraid of drills, tooth scraping, and other common procedures.
This level of anxiety may prevent you from going to the dentist, though it can often be overcome with mild sedation dentistry, such as nitrous sedation (laughing gas).
12-15 – High dental anxiety
People who score a 12-15 are likely to avoid going to the dentist if at all possible, and when they do, they suffer from severe physical reactions. They may feel nervous, scared, and physically uncomfortable. Sedation dentistry is almost always required for people who have high levels of dental anxiety.
15-20 – Severe dental anxiety (phobia)
Dental phobia is the least common type of dental anxiety. If you are affected at this level, chances are that even thinking about going to the dentist is enough to make you feel sick, nervous, and uncomfortable.
The best way to treat severe dental anxiety is with a relaxed, informative approach to dentistry, and heavy IV or oral sedation. Cognitive-behavioral therapy may even be recommended for people who have serious issues with dental phobia and anxiety.
Come to Life Dentistry today for sedation dentistry in Lafayette!
At Life Dentistry, Dr. James Martin can treat patients who fall at any level of the dental anxiety scale. Contact us at 970-289-5433, or come to our office at 110 Old Laramie Trail E #100 Lafayette, CO 80026. With our Lafayette sedation dentistry services, you can get the dental care you need without feeling nervous, anxious, or panicked in the dentist’s chair.