Dentophobia: The fear of dentists. No one likes to visit the dentist, but some people experience a kind of anxiety that may turn into a fear or even a phobia. A fear which results in adoidance of visits to the dentist.
Dentophobia is a very common affliction. It is also referred to as odontophobia, dental fear or dental anxiety. Phobias related to blood and the fear of injections or needles may also prevent people from visiting their dentist for routine dental care.
The most common way of developing dental fear is through direct experience. Most people have reported that a difficult, traumatic or painful dental experience as the reason for developing the phobia. Another factor that contributes to the phobia is the dentist’s perceived manner. It was found out that dentists considered to be impersonal, uninterested, uncaring or cold caused a higher level of dental fear in children when compared with others who were considered to be warm and caring. It’s also a condition which can be passed down. Parents who fear the dentist can, unwittingly, educathe their children to have the same fear.
Dentophobia may also develop as people learn about the traumatic experience of others and hear negative views about the dentistry. The negative depiction of dentistry in cartoons and media also contributes to a person’s fear. Dentophobia can develop because of a prior traumatic experience even if it is in no-dental context. Further, research studies have shown that a feeling of helplessness and a perceived lack of control causes the fear.
Deal with Dentophobia and say goodbye to your fear of dentists – it’s not as difficult as you may first think thanks to a number of treatment programs that really do work.
Let’s face it, a trip to the dentist is not a particularly nice appointment to have to keep. Whilst procedures have advanced there’s always going to be a degree of discomfort. There’ll likely be a certain degree of pain too. But there’s also the unknown. You take the seat for the check up no knowing if you’re going to need a scale, fillings or even extraction. Then there’s the imposing feel of the experience. Being made to lie back with your mouth open while you trust a stranger with sharp instruments and mirrors to prod around in your mouth. Finally … what about the noises of the drills and other tools … horrible sounds!
No wonder it’s such a common phobia. It’s estimated that between 5 and 15% of adults suffer from dentophobia a severe fear of the dentist. Around 3% will never see a dentist because of these fears. Estimates suggest that it affects children to a slightly greater degree. Up to 20% have a fear of dentists.
In general, women report dental fear more than men. More young people experience the phobia when compared with older individuals. Further more, people experience greater fear when it comes to invasive procedures than less invasive treatment.
As is the case with any phobia, the symptoms of dentophobia may vary from person to person based on the severity of the fear that they are experiencing. Typically, the symptoms include (amongst others):
It’s a relatively simple anxiety that’s not going to affect quality of life as much as many other phobias. Avoidance is simple … don’t visit the dentist! However, this in itself is not the answer and those who do this usually end up worrying about the state of their teeth, decay, gum disease. The result of which would result in being forced to go to the dentist. That’s why it’s important to overcome the fear of dentists.
You weren’t born with particular fears or anxiety – instead you have developed them along your life journey so far. In very simple terms Hypnotherapy works by re-setting the mind to produce the rational response to a specific situation or environment that you had before the phobia was initially triggered off. Find Out More >
Neuro-linguistic programming or NLP combines neurology and linguistics and creates a sort of programming that helps people change their thinking habits, help them deal with anxiety, stress, depression and overcome particular fears. In short, this means taking a specific fear or phobia and disassociating and reframing the experience to prevent the irrational response. Find Out More >
In simple terms Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT as it’s more commonly referrred to, is a talking therapy which takes your specific issue, fear or specific phobia and focusses on your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and how they affect your behaviour and emotions in respect of this issue. It takes on the notion that your thoughts (cognition) creates emotions which, in turn, controls our reactions (behaviour). Find Out More >
If the mere thought of having to go to the dentist fills you with fear and terror then take a look at one of our recommended, self-help treatment programs that are all guaranteed, proven and effective.