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Managing Dental Phobia

Dentist Fears

According to Wiki, dentist fear is associated with anxiety or a phobia. This phobia had traditionally been defined as both irrational and exaggerated. But, some studies have shown that this is not the case.

While controversy exists with whether dental fear is "irrational", as it is seen to be most commonly caused by previous bad experiences, there are subtypes of dental phobia. For example "fear of dentists" versus "fear of specific dental procedures" and needle phobia  are considered subtypes of dental phobia, and not at all irrational.

Currently, dental fear is defined as an extreme and persistent fear which involves dentists, dental procedures, a specific fear of needles, teeth, or objects and situations which remind the individual of the phobic situation. Not surprisingly, the dentist's drill is often a major factor in dentist fears. Even thinking or hearing about going to the dentist causes psychological distress for many people. Unfortunately, children are also influenced by their parents' fears and attitudes towards dental treatment - so the phobia continues.

Experiencing dentist fears often results in people avoiding the dentist until a physical problem becomes too overwhelming to handle, I want to provide you with information to help manage this anxiety.

Please keep in mind that this information is offered as suggestions. They are not being provided as professional medical advice. If you experience dentist fears which effects your day to day functions (e.g., you cannot sleep at night due to an upcoming dental visit), please seek the assistance and guidance from a licensed professional.

Managing Dental Phobia - Blog - Southfield Family Dental - blog%20pixSuggestions for Handling Dental Fears
With dentistry's many advances, diagnosis and treatment gets more sophisticated and comfortable all the time and some of us may be worrying  unnecessarily.                                                               

But, if you do have anxiety, below are some suggestions on  techniques to use to overcome dental anxiety.

  • Share your anxiety- speak to the dentist and the dental staff. Getting your concerns out in the open will help your dentist adapt the treatment to your needs.
  • Try to choose a timefor your dental visit when you're less likely to be rushed or under pressure. For some people, that may be a Saturday or an early morning appointment.
  • If the sound of the drill bothers you, bring a portable audio player and headset so you can listen to your favorite music. As you listen to the music, try visualizing yourself relaxing on a warm beach or boat

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