Dental Fear: What It Is and How to Overcome It

Dental fear is a common fear shared by many people. Despite the importance of dental care, it's normal to despise the idea of going to the dentist for a visit. For some people, the pain associated with any type of dental problem is tied up with the fear of that dreaded visit to the dentist. Statistics reveal that dentists are the most feared out of any type of doctor. If you're one of the many who dislike going to the dentist because of anxiety and fear, here are some causes and steps to take.

Causes of Dental Fear

The fear of dentists varies in its intensity such that some people are afraid of undergoing intricate dental procedures while others dislike the idea of seeing the dentist at all. Due to the importance of dental care as part of taking care of your body, it is also important to assess your level of fear so you can undertake the necessary steps to overcome it.

Here are just a few common causes:

  • Previous bad experiences with a dentist.
  • Fear of being embarrassed or ridiculed for your dental condition.
  • Fear of certain dental procedures, especially intricate ones that you might perceive as painful.
  • Fear based on bad experiences you hear from friends or family members
  • Fear of needles or sharp tools

Behavioral Techniques To Overcome Dental Fear

As with any other types of fear, dental fear mostly takes place in the mind. Therefore, you can try to combat it with a few psychological methods. Although it's likely you won't lose your fear of the dentist overnight, it can help you manage your dental anxiety while you get the care you need.

The Comfort Zone

This is an important concept associated with psychological fears involved with your dental fear. Undergoing dental procedures can be scary, but you can manage it by re-learning the emotional responses solicited by your experience. This is most common among children. For example, you can try doing a basic check-up wherein your dentist examines your teeth using a mouth mirror before gradually moving on to other tools. Taking this step-by-step process and moving slowly will allow you to remain in your comfort zone. You can also voice your experience so that you remain relaxed.

Knowing You're In Control

This is related to the idea of the “comfort zone”, which is basically about letting your dentist know whether or not you are comfortable. It's important that you learn how to effectively communicate with your dentist so they remain aware of your state throughout the entire procedure. If at some point you become anxious about the situation, then you can send out warning signals so your dentist knows when to stop or proceed.

Schedule An Appointment

At UNO DENTAL, we take a relaxed and careful approach to your dental health. To meet with Dr. Kandar and learn more about the best ways to overcome dental anxiety and improve your oral health, contact our San Francisco office by calling (415) 523-9178 or filling out our online form.

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