A great number of people have fear of the dentist, regardless of whether they are children or adults. This fear tends to increase by the age. Fear of going to the dentist is so great that we are able to endure the pain and risk complications than to go to the dentist.
This type of fear is so common that there is a specific term for it- dentophobia. Dentophobia is completely irrational fear of the dentist, who suffer otherwise completely rational people.
Causes of dentophobia may vary from somewhat rational to those that are completely rational. The main causes seem to be
- Direct negative experiences or even indirect experience, or traumatic, frightening story and bad dental experiences of others
- Previous traumatic, complicated and painful dental experience
- Bad relationships with the dentist. Dentists that we perceive as “official”, “irrelevant” or “cold” may affect the development of dental fear and anxiety in the patient
- Negative display of dental examinations as a very painful and unpleasant
- Negative experiences with doctors, hospitals and medical examinations, outside the dental context
- Negative expectations during dental examination; Expectation of loss of control and helplessness, expectation of pain, injections and blood or expectation of discomfort and shame
Overcoming the fear
One of the ways to overcome fear of the dentist is to remember events from your childhood that probably caused your fear of the dentist. Discovering the root of the problem will help you to face the fear.
In the case that other people’s negative experiences contributed to your fear, bear in mind that all experiences are different and that what happened to another does not necessarily mean that will happen to you. As the matter of fact, what are the chances for that?
Next time you go to the dentist ignore all the negative things that you connect to the dentist’s office and that you fear. Instead, think positively that you are assertive person.
In order make the process easier, talk to your dentist before the intervention and find out exactly what will be happening during the procedure. Many fears are the result of lack of information.
Imagine that you need to encourage small child while visiting the dentist. Think about all the possible ways you would try to reassure him not to be afraid.
Once you survive the encounter with the dentist, and truly overcome the irrational fear, we are sure you are not going to have any excuses for avoiding the dentists, and your teeth will be thankful for that.