Fear of the Dentist

Image source - Fear of dentistry medical concept © studiostoks

Image source – Fear of dentistry medical concept © studiostoks

Fear of the dentist isn’t uncommon with one in four of us suffering from it. The extent of a person’s fear varies from person to person due to different experiences and anxieties. For some it may centre on the idea of it hurting, for others it is the smells and noises associated with dentistry and some people just can’t shake off past bad experiences. Thankfully today we have fantastic teams of dental practitioners available who are able to understand and guide their patients through their fears.

For most fear of the dentist has stemmed from an experience during that persons childhood. For example, a child may have had a tooth extraction that was particularly complicated, resulting in a lot of pulling and tugging. This can be traumatic for any person let alone a child who is feeling very scared and vulnerable. As a result that child would associate the dentist with pain and discomfort and carry those thoughts on into adulthood if not dealt with appropriately. Others may have found the smells and noises in a dentist off-putting or frightening again resulting in that person becoming afraid of dental practices.

To prevent such phobias from occurring it is absolutely vital that children attend the dentist from the moment their first tooth appears. This allows them to become familiar with the smells and noises from a very early age so that they know what to expect. As children become older they become more aware of their surroundings and are able to develop new fears. It is therefore important that they are reassured about the dentist, and that they are taken on a regular basis in order to stop them from developing into something serious. Trips to the dentist don’t have to be boring either, they can be fun and exciting as children learn how to brush their teeth properly and discover things they never knew about the mouth.

Unfortunately for some, the fear of the dentist continues into adulthood leaving a lot of people with poor oral health. There are some adults who haven’t visited the dentist for years and have put up with numerous problems including toothache and cavities. Despite these people thinking that they are doing the best for themselves, every day of untreated dental issues will only lead to progressed problems. Minor oral issues can be dealt with quite easily and information can be given to prevent them from happening again. If however they are left unattended the problem will only become worse and eventually lead to much bigger health concerns. Teeth that are in very bad condition will at worst case scenario have to be removed completely, something I imagine most of us do not want.

Dentistry has come a long way over the years and new advances make visiting the dentist a much more relaxed and pleasant experience. Forget horror stories you have heard from the Victorian days, it is 2016 and our equipment is far more advanced than it used to be. The tools used are a lot gentler and even create less noise. Procedures can be carried out pain free thanks to the wonderful world of medicine and background music makes the room far more inviting.

Aside from the fantastic equipment available there are also extremely well trained staff members including receptionists, dental assistants and the dentists themselves. They are able to assess a patients needs well ensuring that everything is put in place to make their time at the dentist a comfortable one. Available to talk to about any worries, issues or concerns, dental teams are there to help and put people’s minds at ease.