Dentophobia. Many of us may be completely unfamiliar with this lengthy word, but you’d be shocked to learn how many people of all ages experience it.To put it simply: dentophobia is the fear of the dentist. It could be triggered by something as simple as entering the dentist office or sitting down to receive dental treatment. The fear is often caused by a poor past dental experience, but we have good news: it is a condition that can fully remedied.
There are as many as 75% of people in the United States who have some type of fear of the dentist. This might not be a full blown phobia, but there is still a real fear of being in the dental chair. Many will avoid going to the dentist at any cost, often to the despair of their teeth and gums. Some will only go when they have an emergency, such as an infection in the mouth or pain from a toothache. Some are merely too afraid of the unknown.
While we can understand that this fear of the unknown or past experience is valid, we also are resolute that the dentist can be a wonderful experience. With the onset of new technology and the friendly, welcoming smiles of your neighborhood office, a visit to the dentist is a part of a routine to look forward to. If nerves still have you feeling anxious, we are here to help. Communication is the beginning! Some dentists will provide sedatives to relax the patient before a procedure, but behavioral techniques can also help. You may speak to a counselor or your personal dentist about the fear to determine the root of the problem. If this anxiety is prominent in your little ones, one of the best ways to help ease the fear is to have them look at the work that the dentist does in the office. Many dentists will let people watch as they clean teeth and get a real “behind the scenes” experience. They will also let people look at the instruments and listen to them so that they know what to expect before any procedures are done.
Dentophobia is very real, but that does not mean that it must persist. Speaking with a dentist about your reservations is key to unlocking the root of the fear and letting your dentist assist you. With our new technologies and relaxing methods, we are here to stand beside you and make your experience purely positive! Visiting your dental office no longer needs to be an area of avoidance, but rather an appointment both you and your smile can look forward to.