Overcoming dentophobia

Fear of visiting the dentist is not just something commonly associated with young people – adults experience it too. You might be surprised at the number of adults that experience this fear so strongly that it is classified as dentophobia. Dentophobia can seriously affect a person’s oral health by preventing them from seeking help from their dentist when they need it. In this article, we explore ways to overcome dentophobia for adults.

Understand the Underlying Cause

If you suffer from dentophobia or severe dental anxiety, it’s important to understand why the idea of receiving dental care scares you. Usually, this fear stems from a previous traumatic experience at the dentist. For instance, complications may develop during a dental procedure making it extremely painful for the patient.

Another reason is someone could have had received dental care from an uncaring and careless doctor that scared them when they were a child. Sometimes, you can even develop an aversion to dentists after hearing horror experiences from others. In other cases, dentophobia has nothing to do with the dentist or a particular dental procedure. Instead, it could be about not wanting to put yourself at the mercy of another person or doctors in general. Once you pinpoint the issue behind your dentophobia, it becomes easier to figure out which treatment approach is right for you.

Get Treatment for Dentophobia

There are several treatment options for dentophobia:

  • Dental fear clinics. Some dentists collaborate with psychologists to help treat patients with dentophobia.
  • Talking to your dentist. If you have a good dentist, chances are they are willing to help you beat dentophobia by taking the time to make you comfortable and being gentle throughout the procedure. They will also explain everything thoroughly to you, so you know exactly what to expect. Some dentists will also use systematic desensitization – this is repeated exposure to the object of your fear until it no longer has power over you.
  • Relaxation techniques: It has helped to take deep breathing exercises and deliberately relax your muscles just before an appointment or while in the dentist’s chair.
  • Medication. In some extreme cases, patients with dentophobia will require mild sedatives or anesthesia.

Dentists are wonderful professionals that can improve your quality of life by boosting oral health. However, it’s unfortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the dental industry. This is according to statistics which show that the use of dental services fell by 75-79% between March and April 2020.

Contact Sninski and Schmitt Family Dentistry Today

When you’re ready to face your dentophobia, you should turn to a dentist you know you can trust. Sninski and Schmitt Family Dentistry will ensure that you receive quality care to help you overcome your fear. Give us a call today at (919) 467-2203 for our Cary dentist office or (919) 600-6262 for our Holly Springs dentist office to learn more. You can also use our contact form to schedule an appointment. Remember, you can’t put dental problems on hold – getting it taken care of sooner rather than later will help keep your mouth healthy and clean for years to come!