Oral health is often considered to be one of the most crucial parts of our overall health. The smile that can help you maintain your social life is only achievable if you are aware of oral healthcare information and the benefits it provides. Hence, today we are covering a special topic, “dental phobia” and will discuss in detail what it means, and how it impacts our oral health.
What is a dental phobia?
The fear of the dentist is arguably the most common phobia that exists in our society. This widespread phobia can come from a variety of emotions associated with concerns about your oral dental health, as well as any negative dental experiences you may have had as a child.
However, for certain people, such worries can manifest as dentophobia (also called odontophobia). This is defined as a severe or illogical dread of items, situations, or people, similar to other phobias – in this case, dentophobia is the fear of going to the dentist. In simple terms, dental phobia is a more severe form of anxiety. People with dental phobia are aware that their dread is unreasonable, but they are powerless to change it. They engage in classic avoidance behavior, which means they will go to any length to avoid going to the dentist. People with dental phobia rarely visit the dentist unless they are in excruciating pain. In some circumstances, pathologic anxiety or fear may necessitate psychiatric consultation.
The following are some more indicators of dental phobia:
- You have trouble falling asleep the night before the dental exam.
- Nervous feelings that worsen when in the dental office waiting room
- At the mere thought of going to the dentist, you may cry or feel physically uncomfortable.
- Anxiety at the thought of, or actual placement of things in your mouth during dental treatment, or a sudden feeling of being unable to breathe
What are the causes of dental phobia and how it affects our oral health?
A phobia of the dentist is frequently the result of a bad encounter in the past. You may have had a fear of the dentist as a child, and these sentiments have remained with you throughout your life. Some people are also scared of the noises made by the instruments used by dentists and dental hygienists for teeth cleaning and exams, so just thinking about them might cause anxiety.
Fear of the dentist should not keep you from getting regular examinations and cleanings, given the importance of dental care to your general health. Even so, going to the dentist isn’t something that everyone can do.
People with dental fears are more likely to have rotten teeth and missing teeth that go untreated. These individuals also report a decline in the quality of their life, which is directly related to their poor dental health.
How to treat dental phobia?
Mild dental phobias are best alleviated by visiting the dentist rather than avoiding it. If you need extensive dental work, you might request to be sedated so that you are not awake during the procedure. While it is not standard practice, you may be able to find a dentist that is willing to accommodate your sedative needs.
Going to the dentist, on the other hand, is much easier said than done if you have a real phobia. Dentophobia, like other phobias, may be linked to an anxiety disorder, necessitating a mix of therapy and drugs.
Last but not least
The state of your teeth and gums is crucial to your overall health. Even so, if someone has a severe fear or phobia of going to the dentist, this knowledge alone may not be enough to persuade them to do so. At the same time, continuing to avoid the dentist will only exacerbate your dread.
To deal with dentophobia, there are a variety of options. It’s also crucial to notify your dentist so that they can make arrangements for you. It will take time and work, but you can get to a place where your anxieties won’t stop you from getting the dental treatment you require.