Dental phobia or a fear of seeing the dentist can become a serious condition. Many people who are so fearful or anxious about visiting the dentist do not see their dentist regularly and consequently let their oral health suffer as a result.
At Cox and Hitchcock we find that anxious patients often have problems with their gums, with infection and chronic gum disease being commonplace amongst anxious patients. It is important to see a dentist regularly so that they can assess and deal with problems before they worsen or even become irreversible (gum disease), painful or expensive.
Our dentists are trained to work with all types of patients particularly those that are anxious and have many techniques and methods to help overcome your anxieties and make your dental experience comfortable and relaxing!
What is dental phobia?
Statistics suggest that, in western countries, phobias afflict 7-13% of the population and that women are twice as likely to suffer from a phobia as men. However, as many people do not feel comfortable talking about their phobias, it is thought that this figure could be a lot higher.
Dental phobia seems to be an increasing phenomenon, although that may be because, as doctors become better at treating phobias, more people are seeking help. Dental phobia – or dentophobia to give it its proper name – is generally defined as a fear of dentists and dental work. The reality is that dentophobia is triggered by a complex and multi-layered set of fears which means that every sufferer can experience different stimuli, different levels of fear and different symptoms.
What are the causes of dentophobia?
In many cases, dentophobia is a generic fear of dentists and dental work. Therefore, people who suffer from dentophobia cannot even visit the dentist without suffering from anxiety attacks or other symptoms. Similarly, the attacks can also be stimulated by the generic smells, sights or sounds of the dental surgery – so simply being there is enough to trigger a phobic reaction.
In many other cases of dentophobia however, the fear revolves around something much more defined, specific and individual.