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Local dentist helps patients overcome dental phobia

For many people, a visit to the dentist is no reason to smile.

According to a 2009 Dental Health Survey, one in 10 adults suffers from dental phobia — a condition that causes anxiety when faced with a dental visit. It is not uncommon for a dental phobic to avoid the dentist for decades, resulting in tooth decay, gum disease and a whole other bevy of preventable complications.

But one Tulsa dentist is on a mission to address that phobia by providing the tools and atmosphere to help alleviate fears and promote oral health for an often-overlooked segment of society.

Dr. Miriam Hanna, who has practiced dentistry for nine years, said she has seen it all when it comes to the extremes that people go to avoid the dental chair.

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