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Common causes of dental phobia and how to overcome

Dental phobia is the most common issue which is faced by people of different age groups.

This might be due to a bad dental experience which would have even been highly traumatizing. It can even include painful dental visits to a psychological factor wherein the patient has been humiliated by the dentist.

  • The behavior of the dentist: most of the professionals do think that it is the pain which keeps the people away from dental checkups. People who have dental phobia always think that there won’t be anything under their control and don’t even know what is happening to them once they are on the dental chair.
  • Fear of humiliation and embarrassment: the intensive, humiliating remarks given by the dental doctor would also cause a dental phobia. People who are very sensitive would always get hurt easily especially with the negative social evaluation would be shattering.
  • Abuse history: this is very common in those who had a physical abuse experience in their childhood, bullying, physical or emotional abuse etc would lead to dental phobia especially if it’s related to a dentist.
  • Vicarious learning: in some cases children would get scared of the dental doctor if the parent or the caretaker is scared of a dental doctor. Though they might have not experienced any kind of bad incident they would learn it from their parents to get scared of the dental doctor. Even when children learn to hear from other people painful dental experiences would also have a similar impact over them. There are certain movies which would portray a negative light over the visits to the dental doctor that would also add to their fear.
  • Preparedness: certain phobias could be learned by self-such as the needle phobia. For generations, we have quickly learned the ways to prevent snakes, huge heights and lightening so as to have a longer duration of life.
  • Post-traumatic stress: people who had really a very bad dental experience would suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The dental phobia would drastically affect the day to day life of a person. It does not just affect dental health but it would even affect you with anxiety and depression. Some might not be able to meet their friends or relatives due to embarrassment over your teeth. It might, in turn, lead to reduced self- esteem and on the other hand, you might be feeling low for not being able to meet a dental doctor.

What you should do when you have a dental phobia?

One of the most important thing which you should keep in mind is you are not just alone. Almost 5% people won’t attend or meet a dentist because of fear. You need to make sure to find a good, caring, kind and gentle dental doctor which would solve all your problems. It would be worthwhile if you are able to find such a dentist who can help you overcome dental phobia for lifetime. You can even find web-based support groups where you can share your experiences.

Mark Steven

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