What is Dental Phobia?

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  • Written By: L. Hepfer
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 January 2019
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Having a phobia of any sort means having an extreme fear that is directed toward one particular thing or situation. Experiencing dental phobia would mean having extreme fear and severe anxiety toward dentists and any kind of dentistry procedure. People suffer from dental phobia for many reasons. It can stem from having painful experiences in the past or it may simply develop after listening to someone else's horror story about their trip to the dentist.

A person suffering from dental phobia may experience panic attacks by merely seeing an office sign along the road while he is driving. These same people may also be obsessive about cleanliness and personal hygiene inside their mouth. They may obsess about every little thing inside their mouth or they may avoid their mouth altogether and ignore any problem that may be going on.

Bad experiences in a dentist's office can definitely cause dental phobia. An uncaring dentist may seem cold and controlling, focusing on his work rather than being concerned for the patient. A person who has consistent dental problems, whether it be from bad personal hygiene or poor inherited dental traits, can suffer from dental phobia because of the constant pain they endure. A child who sees their parents' fears can pick up on it easily and develop their own dental phobias. Being afraid of needles can bring on a panic attack if someone needs work done and is required to have Novocaine.


Other situations that can be a cause of dental phobia may be the pain someone is afraid of experiencing. Being under the care of a dentist while laying back in a chair leaves a person feeling vulnerable. The lack of control a person feels in this position can set off a panic attack.

The sounds of the drill and other dental instruments can be frightening, along with the various smells associated with dental offices. A person with a sensitive gag reflex may find themselves gagging or feeling like they are choking when a dentist places something in their mouth. Even the cost of dental procedures can hold a person back from visiting the dentist if they do not have dental insurance.

Many things can cause a person to develop dental phobia. The first step to overcoming this fear is discussing it with your dentist. A caring and concerned dentist will take all of your thoughts and fears into consideration and make notes in your file for future visits. He will do everything within his power to calm you and make your visit more enjoyable.



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Post 1

I have this phobia and I think it's one of the worst kind of phobia to have. That's because if the phobia is so strong you don't visit the dentist (and presumably hygienist too) which affects not only your dental health, but dental health can affect other physical health factors. Poor dental health can also affect how your smile looks which, in turn, can affect your self esteem.

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