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While many people don't visit a dental health professional because they do not have dental insurance and can't afford it, some individuals avoid the dentist because they are afraid. In an effort to combat this problem, researchers from West Virginia University, Indiana University, WVU-Charleston and the University of Charleston announced that they plan to conduct a joint study to determine why so many people fear the dentist.
According to Mother Nature Network, researcher Daniel McNeil. Ph.D., believes this study has particular implications for West Virginia.
"Children, adults and older adults suffer a disproportionate burden of oral diseases and related aversion to dental care. We have one of the highest rates in the nation of toothlessness in people over age 45," said McNeil, quoted by the news source.
WebMD offers some tips on how to overcome fear of the dentist. Dental patients who are afraid should be assertive about their needs with their dentists and tell them that they'd like everything possible to keep them comfortable. Also, look for dentists who specialize in sedation dentistry and other techniques that are meant to reduce discomfort.
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