January 31, 2023

Cosmetic Dentistry has never been more accessible or affordable; and as such more and more people are opting to undergo treatment. However, there are those who would love to improve their smile and yet do not go ahead – And costs aside, one of the major reasons for this is fear: A phobia of the dentist.

Most adults understand that good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups can ensure problems are dealt with before irreversible damage occurs: Damage that can be painful or expensive to correct. A significant proportion of those people who do not attend the dentist regularly, do have some degree of dental phobia. As a consequence their oral health can substantially suffer – gum disease, abscesses and infection are commonplace for example in patients with a fear or phobia of the dentist. Hence this condition can and should b considered a serious matter.

Why Dental Phobia?

Millions of people suffer from dental phobia. What triggers a fear or phobia of the dentist varies. For some it could be something comparatively basic, such as the smell: Or an anxiety with regards to dental instruments being placed in the mouth (gag reflex). For others their anxiety might be more deep seated and personal: Perhaps a painful experience: A fear of needles: Or even a negative experience due to conflict with an unsympathetic or heavy-handed dentist in the past. For those who have never attended a dental practice before fear of the unknown can ultimately stop them undergoing treatment – To which the atypical stereotyping of dentists as the ´big bad wolf´ has a lot to answer for!

How To Deal With It

You may be suffering from dental phobia due to any one of these reasons: Or something entirely different may be the root of your problem. Any which way (and akin to any problem) recognising the problem exists and why is first and foremost – Only then can steps be taken to deal with it. Do not be afraid or embarrassed. Be honest with the dentist about your fears: Be assured, you are not the only one! Plus, a sympathetic dentist is always a good listener.

In a modern world dentists are able to offer alternatives and solutions to help anxious patients overcome their fears. Sedation is an option for patients suffering from severe anxiety. For those with a phobia of needles some dentists can deliver the necessary anaesthetic via a wand. This is a computerised system which does not look like a traditional needle: Good for those with a phobia of needles. In addition, it also delivers the anaesthetic slowly which significantly reduces the discomfort some patients feel.

What Should You Do?

If you have a phobia do not be embarrassed: Be honest and tell your dentist. If you have not visited the dentist for many years and your teeth and gums are in a poor state, again, do not be embarrassed: Things will only get worse. Simply be honest. The most important thing is to get your teeth back on track now.

If your dentist or the dental staff are not sympathetic go elsewhere. What else should you do? Relax!