Being afraid of the dentist is a common fear, akin to being scared of spiders or dogs. Unlike being afraid of spiders and dogs, however, a fear of the dentist could cause you serious health problems.
It’s estimated that as many as 60% of patients worldwide are afraid of the dentist and as a result could be severely damaging their oral and overall health.
At Pleasant Family Dentistry, we’re keen for everyone in the Charleston, South Carolina area to be informed about their dental health and have the chance to enjoy clean, healthy teeth.
Read on to find out more about Dentophobia and how you can overcome it with a little help from our friendly and experienced team.
What Are The Types Of Dentophobia?
Dentophobia comes in a variety of different forms. You might be afraid of:
- The Dentist Themselves: This is when patients are frightened of the actual person, or the idea of the person, who will be treating them.
- The Dental Practice: Some patients are scared of the sounds, smells, and sights that they encounter at a dentist’s office. Typically, this means that they are physically put off from even entering the premises.
- Pain: Many patients are afraid of the pain that they believe comes with visiting the dentist.
- Needles: Patients who are scared of needles in other contexts, such as a visit to the doctor, might be afraid of them at the dentist also.
- Gagging: In some cases, patients who are scared of choking may fear the idea of having to hold their mouth open for an extended period. They might believe that they’re going to gag, or that they might struggle to breathe with something being inserted into their mouth.
What Are The Symptoms Of Dentophobia?
Phobias are strong fears linked with anxiety, and as a result, they are highly personal to each individual who has them.
Some common symptoms of dentophobia include:
- Refusing to go to the dentist because of your fear
- Refusing specific treatments because of fear of the pain or use of needles
- Panicking at the idea of visiting the dentist
- Crying in a dental office
- More severe symptoms such as shaking or even vomiting at the thought of visiting a dentist
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should give you an idea of what to look for if you think that you, or someone you know and love, has dentophobia.
Suggested Treatments For Dentophobia
Like most psychological problems, it’s tough to treat dentophobia. It’s not a case of just ‘getting over it’; most patients need serious help to understand the underlying fears they have and then work to overcome them.
This might involve visiting a therapist and working with them to learn more about your fear and how you can overcome it.
How Can Your Dentist Help You Overcome Your Fear?
Visiting a therapist might seem like an extreme course of action, but there are other ways that you can treat your dentophobia. In fact, the best people to help are actually dentists themselves!
At Pleasant Family Dentistry, we have a range of tried and tested techniques that we can use to help you face your fears and come to enjoy revisiting the dentist.
These range from providing you with a member of the team who can sit with you and talk you through the process, through to booking your appointment at a quieter time so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
The team here at Pleasant Family Dentistry are all deeply committed to making sure that everyone has a great experience when they come to us, which is why we can provide you with personalized support that meets your individual needs.
Our treatments are cutting-edge and virtually pain-free, meaning that we can help you to overcome your fear of pain.
If necessary, we also offer more drastic solutions, such as sedation dentistry. This will allow you to get the treatment you need without being scared.
Why Is Overcoming Dentophobia Important?
You might think that dentophobia isn’t all that important. After all, if you’ve gone a few years without visiting the dentist, then what’s a few more?
Avoiding the dentist can have a severe impact on both your mental and physical wellbeing. Your teeth might be beautiful while you’re young and healthy, but as you grow older, problems may appear that cause you pain and discomfort.
Dentists can identify problems, such as cavities, early, before they become serious issues, and then provide you with preventative treatment. This means that small issues won’t turn into significant problems that could cause you pain, difficulty eating, and even to lose your teeth.
What Else Can Dentists Do For Me?
Dentists do much more than just clean and fix teeth. Experienced dental teams, such as the one we have at Pleasant Family Dentistry, can offer a wide variety of services.
These range from cosmetic dental solutions, such as veneers, tooth whitening, and dental implants, which help restore teeth to their former glory, through to aesthetic treatments like Botox and dermal fillers.
All of these treatments are designed to make you feel as good as you look. Appearance is essential to many in today’s society, and that means that you need to look the way you want to.
Our team can help you achieve this goal thanks to our experience and quality service offering. We can give you a safe environment in which you can talk through your concerns and find a solution to help you overcome them and get back to looking and feeling your best.
For more than 30 years, Pleasant Family Dentistry has been supporting patients of all ages, so we understand how your fear can make your life a misery.
If you want to turn your life around, then contact us today, and one of our dedicated team members will be happy to share some insight on how we can get you, and your teeth, back in the best possible condition.