Dental Phobia: The fear of Dental Chair

Dental Phobia and Dental Anxiety are common conditions which has affected multiple patients. As the name suggests these are psychological conditions where in we avoid visiting our dentist. Some serious anxiety and dental phobia problems have resulted in nearly 10-15% of global population avoid preventive dental care. This can lead to problems which are even beyond dental problems. As a result of dental phobia patient does not visit his/her dentist which puts them at a higher risk of periodontal disease and eventually regular illness in the body.

Most of the patients have related their phobia and anxiety to a painful experience in the past. Dental Phobia is more serious and severe than Dental Anxiety. People suffering from phobia get a panic attack whenever they have to visit a dentist. Moreover they will always be away from their routine dental hygiene. This situation aggravates the chances of developing other gum problems.

People suffering from Dental Phobia might visit dentist however that too after pressure from family and friends. Still they will be uneasy and uncomfortable. The signs of dental phobia includes the following:

  • You have trouble sleeping a night before you have to visit your dentist
  • While waiting in the waiting room your hands will sweat as you will be nervous
  • You’ll become a little sick just with the thought of dentist and do not be surprised if you start crying.
  • You will have a panic attack and you will have difficulty in breathing. Breathing becomes increasingly difficult once your dentist places the tools inside your mouth.

What are the reasons for Dental Phobia and Dental Anxiety?

There are many reason why people suffer both these situations. Some of the reasons are mentioned below:

  1. Pain: Why would you do things that give you pain? That’s the human tendency. Pain is by far the most common reason why people suffer from phobia and anxiety.
  2. Fear of injections: Needle terrifies most of us. Just imagine these needles being inserted inside your mouth. Gives goosebumps right? Apart from fear of needles patients also fear that whether anesthesia would work or not or whether they will get a larger dose of anesthesia and wont wake up for a long time.
  3. Feeling helpless: Well this is also very common because you are sitting in a dental chair there is nothing that you can do. The reason we get anxious at this situation is because we do not what is happening and the dentist is way too close to us and this leads us to reason number 4.
  4. The feeling of embarrassment: People get embarrassed as the dentist is way too close to them. There are few who feel embarrassed when they open their mouth infront of dentist.

So we know the problem : Dental Phobia and Dental Anxiety. What is the solution to these? The key to cope up with these emotions is to talk about your fears to your dentist. He/She will understand that and will proceed with the treatment plan accordingly. The new treatment plan will be for your good and to ease you out.

An understanding and caring dentist will keep you posted as what he/she is doing. This is called as the Talk While You Work Technique. It helps in easing out the fear of what’s going on. He/She will also tell you what next steps they will take. Your dentist will ask you to not to talk and instead you will have to make gesture to tell him whether you are experiencing pain or not.

That being said I would recommend to speak about your fear to anyone (especially your family, friends and your doctor). It helps alot.

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