Are you guilty of delaying – or completely avoiding – needed dental care due to a fear of dentist?
Dental phobiais extremely common. An overwhelming number of Australians are believed to never visit a dentist due to dental phobia. Many others only see a dentist when it becomes absolutely unavoidable.
Fear of the dentist is such a common condition that it has a name, odontophobia. ‘Odontophia’ is taken from the Greek ‘odonto’, meaning teeth, and ‘phobia’, meaning fear.
While odd-sounding, odontophobia is a serious condition that can prevent you from getting the proper dental care you need to maintain proper dental health.
There are a number of strategies you can use to overcome your fear of the dentist.
Here are a few of them:
Acceptance:The first step of learning to deal with your dental phobia is to accept the fact that it is both very common and nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone has some degree of odontophobia at some point in their lifetime.
Explore the root cause of your fear:Write down exactly what causes you to fear the dentist. Was there a particularly traumatic dental experience you had in the past that triggered your phobia? Is there a specific procedure that has been traumatic or painful for you in the past? Knowing the cause of your fear can help you conquer it.
Education:Quite often, people are afraid of things they do not understand. Take the time to educate yourself about a specific dental procedure that has caused you fear and anxiety in the past. If you have an upcoming procedure, take the time to learn about the procedure, the instruments involved, and the method of treatment in advance so you will know what to expect.
Talk to your dentist:Your dentist will be happy to discuss any procedure or to answer any questions you may have regarding your dental care or any procedures you may need. Your dentist has a responsibility to provide you with the best dental care possible – and to make you as comfortable with your dental care as possible – and will work with you to help you overcome your odontophobia.
Strength in numbers:Facing a phobia is easier if you have a trusted friend or family member to help you face it. Take someone with you to your dentist appointment to provide moral support and to help you relax prior to your dental procedure. Your dentist may also be willing to allow them to accompany you to the treatment room to help you cope with your anxiety.
Use the buddy system:Take a trusted friend or family member along with you for your appointment to provide moral support.
At Morrin Dental, we offer complete dental care, including routine, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. From pediatric dentistry to cosmetic dentistry and emergency dental care, we offer a full spectrum of dental care options for your entire family.
Contact us today for an appointment.