Do You Suffer From Dental Phobia?
“Dental phobia may depend on various factors like a painful dental experience in the past or hearing of a bad experience from someone”
Many associate dental treatment with unbearable pain and uneasiness and hence fear to visit a dentist during regular intervals. Only the thought of a regular dental check-up can leave them stressed. This situation also known as dental phobia, causes severe dental problems for some, because these patients will keep on prolonging their dental appointments due to fear and anxiety.
Hence, to avoid visiting the dentist, they don’t mind putting up with problems like gum infections, tooth pain, cavities and broken teeth. But the more the treatment gets delayed, the greater the chances of the tooth problem worsening.
Causes Of Dental Phobia
For people suffering from dental phobia, even the thought of visiting a dentist is petrifying and they will do anything to avoid the dental appointment. The cause of this phobia may depend on various factors like a painful dental experience in the past or hearing of a bad experience from someone. Thud, pain is the main factor causing dental phobia among patients.
When you are lying in the dentist’s chair, you are generally gripped with fear because of the sharp dental instruments. The dental tools and instruments like needles, tooth drillers, dental lasers, and suction tubes make a loud sound and sometimes cause pain. Also, some people postpone their dental visit because they are embarrassed to go to the dentist. This is especially common in people who are self-conscious about how their teeth will look. Since they can’t see what’s going on and can’t respond, they are often filled with anxiety and hence, the fear of visiting a dentist.
Many dental treatments like root canal treatments involve the use of injections and people with dental phobia are scared of the needle being injected in their mouth. Most of the times they also doubt, if the anaesthesia will work properly in eliminating their pain. People mostly also fear the side effects caused by anaesthesia like dizziness, while some fear the numbness caused by these injections.
Symptoms Indicating Dental Phobia
- You feel stressed or have trouble sleeping the night before an appointment with your dentist.
- When you are sitting in the waiting room, your hands turn cold and you get nervous.
- The sight of the dental instruments may make you feel nervous and panicky.
- When the instruments are placed in your mouth, you may experience breathing problems.
If you haven’t been to a dental clinic for years because of your distress and anxiety, rest assured, because dental clinics in modem times have a much friendlier atmosphere and these days, drillers come equipped with mechanisms which make them less noisy. And with the advancement in technology, dental treatments are sometimes completely painless.
Also, for those who suffer from a needle phobia, they can opt for computerized injection systems which resembles a pen, thus delivering anaesthesia slowly without causing pain. Doctor’s these days also use a gel that numb your gums before being injected and with this method, you do not feel the prick of the needle.
Overcoming Dental Phobia
The only way to overcome dental phobia is to talk to your dentist about your fears. If you feel a particular treatment is causing you a lot of pain, you can ask your dentist to modify the way you are being treated. In case you are still experiencing pain at any stage in the treatment, you can always signal your dentist to stop.
With the variety of methods and treatments that try and reduce pain, your fear will get eliminated slowly. In case the pain is unbearable, the dentist will suggest painkillers that will gradually subside your pain.
Tips To Help Ease Dental Fear
- Find an understanding dentist with whom you can discuss about your dental phobia
- Once you have found a suitable dentist, visit the clinic to see and get a hang of the dental atmosphere. Also get somebody to accompany you.
- Explain to your dentist about your phobia, well in advance, before you begin with your treatment as this will help the dentist to analyse and work on ways to make your treatment painless.
- Freeze on a signal which will indicate to the dentist it you need a break, or it you want the dentist to stop.
- Don’t just start with an extensive and complex treatment it you suffer from dental phobia.
- You must first start with simple treatments like a clean-up and tooth polish.
- You can start with the advanced treatments once you have faith and an understanding with your dentist.
- Listen to music during your treatment to help you relax.