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DENTAL PHOBIA and Fear of The Dentist

Dental phobia affects a large proportion of the population.Many people are so fearful about visiting the dentist that as a result, they let their oral health suffer. Since they avoid visiting a dentist unless pain sets in, it is observed that ultimately they’ll put up with gum infections (periodontal disease), pain, or even broken and unsightly teeth.

It has been estimated that 55% to 65% of Indians avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety and fear. In a survey by the Indian Dental Association, 40% of those who didn’t see a dentist regularly said that fear were the main reason.

It is important to see a dentist regularly so that they can asses and deal with problems before they worsen and become irreversible (gum diseases), painful (dental abbess) and EXPENSIVE.

People with dental phobia have a higher risk of gum disease and early tooth loss. Avoiding the dentist may have emotional costs as well. Discolored or damaged teeth can make people self-conscious and insecure. They may smile less or keep their mouths partly closed when they speak. Some people can become so embarrassed about how their teeth look that their personal and professional lives begin to suffer. There is often a serious loss of self-esteem.
People with dental phobia also may suffer from poorer health in general, and even lower life expectancy. This is because poor oral health has been found to be related to some life-threatening conditions, such as heart disease and lung infections.

WHY ARE PEOPLE PHOBIC???

People develop dental anxieties and phobias for many different reasons. When researchers interview patients, however, a few common reason emerge.

Pain — In a survey of people who had not seen a dentist for 12 months, reported fear of pain as the main reason.

Negative past experiences — Anyone who has had pain or discomfort during previous dental procedures is likely to be more anxious the next time around.

Feelings of helplessness and loss of control — Many people develop phobias about situations like When they’re in the dental chair, they have to stay still. They may feel they can’t see what’s going on or predict what’s going to hurt. It’s common for people to feel helpless and out of control, which may trigger anxiety.

Embarrassment — The mouth is an intimate part of the body. People may feel ashamed or embarrassed to have a stranger looking inside. This may be a particular problem if they’re self-conscious about how their teeth look. Dental treatments also require physical closeness. During a treatment, dentist’s face may be just a few inches away. This can make people anxious and uncomfortable.

HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR ANXIETIES

With advance dentistry, there are many technique and methods to help overcome your anxieties and make your dental experience comfortable and even enjoyable.

  1. COMMUNICATE about your fears to your dentist
  2. Try to be open and honest with your dentist if you feel embarrassed about the condition of your teeth or lack of previous dental care.
  3. Using a pain free injection technique
  4. A full explanation of the procedure involved.

If you are panic or have trouble breathing when objects are placed in your mouth during a dental appointment. If this describes you, you need to tell your dentist about your feelings, concerns and fears. He or she will help you overcome these feelings by changing the way you are treated.

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