If you have a fear of the dentist then you are not alone. In fact, over 2 million people across the UK have the same fear. More recently it has become a recognised phobia called odontophobia/ dentophobia and dentists are well aware and fully trained in giving dental treatment to people you have this phobia to make them feel more relaxed through the whole process of going to the dentist.
So, what makes people so scared of going to the dentist? Well, most of the time it comes down to the ‘what if’. People start thinking about having a large procedure done even if they don’t need one which is where the ‘what if they need to drill or use needles’ comes into play.
Having a painful experience
Most people will associate the dentist with big needles, drilling and painful treatments. This is not the case! Over the past few years, there has been a lot of development in making dental treatment as pain-free as possible. Many years ago treatment would have been more painful, however, with developing technology and equipment. People who also have a phobia of needles are more likely to be scared of going to the dentist.
People have the feeling of no control
Many people like being in control which will cause phobias of flying or travelling on any public transport where they have no control. People with such phobias as this find it hard to relax in the chair as they can’t see what is going on. It is very common for people to feel helpless and then cause anxiety.
Some people do feel ashamed to have someone so close to their mouth and may feel embarrassed. If someone is self-conscious about their teeth it will become hard for them to let a dentist come up-close to their mouth.
Bad past experiences
You are definitely more likely to be anxious regarding the dentist if you have had a bad past experience whether you are going to the same dentist or not.
Often symptoms include ‘normal anxiety’ which is where everyone has mild concerns as to how the treatment will go. However, people with a phobia will be filled with terror at the thought of any treatment. Fears include:
• Trouble sleeping the night before
• Getting increasingly nervous when you are in the waiting room
• If the thought of going to the dentist makes you cry or even just looking at dental equipment or dentist uniform increases your anxiety.
• Feeling physically ill at the thought of going to the dentist
• Having panic attacks or trouble breathing.
• Acknowledge the issue – You need to admit where there is a problem, if you haven’t been going to regular dentist check-ups then you must acknowledge there is a problem.
• Figure out what your phobia originated from – If you’re avoiding the dentist ask why, is it a simple phobia of the pain or something that is more complex.
• Do you need help? – It is more than likely that you can’t get over the problem on your own which is why you should ask do I need help to overcome this phobia.
• Take action – Get in touch with us here at Thurmaston Dental and we can help you get over your dental phobia not where it might originate from.
People with a phobia are more likely to have worse dental problems, this is due to the fact that people are less likely to go to the dentist which means any problem they do have won’t get seen to.Back to Blog