Many people have fear of dentists. However, only some experience real phobia, marked by extreme anxiety and full treatment refusal. When a patient refuses to go to the dentist out of fear, he or she risks medical issues much more terrifying than anything that can happen during a routine visit at the dentist or during a simple dental intervention.
Others only feel a bit nervous due to certain treatments, a condition easy to handle. It’s a good idea to analyze what exactly happens in order to minimize the stress, as for dentists may be truly difficult to treat a nervous patient who moves suddenly or shudders during the medical procedure.
Whom are the patients afraid of?
- The first one in top is THE PAIN. The fear of pain is not necessarily related to a trauma in the past; more often, it’s the general apprehension of the subject, based on a series of misconceptions and myths. You should be aware that there are substances which help you relax and anesthetics in case you feel pain. You should open this subject with you dentist, ask what exactly hurts, to help you manage the problem rationally.
- Another important place in this top is held by the DENTAL DRILL. Many patients are bothered by vibrations, noise, pressure or heath. An alternative to this is air abrasion. Discuss with your dentist further about these procedures, they may suit you better.
- Sometimes patients dislike the DENTAL OFFICE itself: the general appearance, the instructional posters, the chair, a certain instrument or the smell. The paradox is that regular visits to the dentist may reduce these symptoms, as many of the patients get accustomed to the environment and end up adjusting to the place.
- Finally, some patients are afraid of their dentist’s MORALIZING ATTITUDE. If this is the case, you should bear in mind they want to help, not to judge. If you still find this attitude arrogant, you can always consider moving to a different dentist, if this helps solving the issue.
Why does fear occur? Solutions
Regularly, fear is a result of ignorance: the patient is afraid because others are, or seem they are. In other cases, it may be an effect of a past experience, perceived as a trauma (from childhood, for example).
The best solution is open dialogue. This ensures both the patient and his or her dentist that the object of fear is identified and dealt with. As opposed to the realities from a few decades ago, the dental techniques and procedures have evolved considerably and many treatments which used to be painful don’t imply pain or trauma anymore: there are solutions to get you relaxed, sedatives, various ways to fight pain and professional approaches to reduce the amount of time for both the treatment and the recovery, thus minimizing the discomfort felt after a visit to your dentist.