What feeling do you often get when you think of visiting a dentist? How do you feel when you walk into the dental clinic with its aseptic smell? Well, some of us can’t stand the idea of visiting a dentist. It is estimated that 17 percent of patients globally are affected by dental-related anxiety.

Dental Phobia Experts - DentalPhobia.co.uk - “Dental phobia is common among many people. It is the reason why most of us won’t visit a dentist even when it is necessary. Regular dental checkups are important because they help in diagnosing any issues that you might have in advance. However, dental phobia often stands in the way of keeping our dental health in check.”

What are the causes of dental phobia?

There are several terms used to describe dental phobia. Some call it dental anxiety, dental fear, dentophobia among other terms. However, all these terms mean the same thing – an intense fear of visiting a dentist. In most cases, people who experience dental phobia do so as a result of past traumatic experiences from dentists.

Dental phobia can also result from an interaction with a dentist and the way his attitude was construed by a patient. For example, if the dentist was cold and uncaring in his conduct, then that experience is likely to lead to increased fear.

How to overcome dental phobia

Recognize your fears

This is one of the best ways of dealing with dental phobia. The ability to recognise your fears gives you a chance to understand your feelings and address them accordingly. You can try to write them down and discuss those fears with your dentist. This will help a dentist to know what triggers your feelings of fear and anxiety and assist you in dealing with it.

Choose the right dentist

Dental phobia can be perpetuated if you don’t know the whereabouts of a dentist. You might have heard bad experiences from your friends who suffered in the hands of incompetent dentists. To steer clear from such happenings, it is important to choose a dentist that you have confidence in. Visiting a dentist who you are not familiar with will likely increase your anxiety and fear.

Ask a friend to accompany you during your dental appointment

This is also a great way of dealing with dental fear or phobia. Moral support from a friend or family member can significantly reduce anxiety during your dental visit. You can even request them to accompany you during the dental procedure. However, choose someone who is not afraid of dentists.

Consider additional medication

Most dentists recommend sedation, nitrous oxide or other anti-anxiety medication in case you are extremely nervous. During your visit, try to find out from the dentist which of those options they provide and how effective they are.

Take a deep breath to relax
This is also another way to ease yourself from dental anxiety. Some scientists suggest the practice of relaxation techniques before and during dental appointments. Other relaxation methods include listening to music during the procedure and scheduling your appointments early in the morning.

Seek professional help

If all the above options seem not to work, it would be best to talk to a psychologist. A psychologist will be able to recommend effective psychological treatments that will help you deal with dental phobia. Some of the common psychological techniques include Behavioral and cognitive therapy.

In general, dental phobia affects a huge number of people globally. Healthcare research shows that 13-22% of the world population fears visiting a dentist or dental clinic.

However, your dental health is a non-negotiable affair. You need to regularly visit a dentist to ensure that your dental health is perfect. That is why overcoming dental phobia is very important.

Author's Bio: 

Md Rasel is a professional blogger.