Dental Fear: How to Get Past It

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Do not consider yourself alone if the dentist’s chair is one of your biggest fears. Research dictates that between 9 to 20 percent of American avoid the dentist due to irrational fears. Thus it is established that fear of the dentist is a universal phenomenon.

Dental anxiety is serious condition and should not be taken lightly. It leaves many people terrified and panic-stricken. Even though people understand that this is an irrational fear, they are unable to help themselves and do anything about it. People who are afraid will do just about anything to avoid going to the dentist. They will make up excuses and justify not going until they are forced to do so. This condition, in some extreme cases, may require psychiatric consultation.

The signs of dental phobia are as follows:

  • Feeling of nervousness that increases while visiting the dentist
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble falling asleep at night thinking of the dentist
  • Feeling physically ill when vising the dentist
  • Intense uneasiness at the thought of dental procedures
  • Fear of dental tools or the pain they might induce.

There are many ways that dental fear can be overcome. Dental fear might be caused due to pain or some traumatic past experience. People who may experience extreme pain as children or a less than pleasant dentist’s visit may recall those memories every time they visit the dentist. However, with the advancement of technology, most of the dental procedures have become virtually pain free and people no longer need to be afraid of the pain they might experience.

Fear of needles and injections also makes people avoid the dental chair. Needles inserted inside the mouth are terrifying and sometimes even anesthesia cannot eliminate the pain. Such people can benefit from a little counseling and pep talk before the visit. Sometimes the pain is over exaggerated in one’s mind. Learning to control fear is the prime way one can overcome this fear.

The main way to overcome all dental fears is to have a discussion with the dentist. Talking openly about procedures and the time span they will consume can help put one’s mind to ease an eradicate most of the anxieties related to it. It is also the dentist’s job to take a person’s fear seriously. If he does not do that, it is recommended that another dentist should be consulted.