Why Do People Fear Dentists?
For a victim of dental phobia, the mere sight of a dental clinic can result in a cold sweat. Defined as an irrational or excessive fear that provokes an intense response and avoidance behaviors, a phobia can cause significant distress. In the case of dental phobia, it can affect the quality of one’s oral health. A dental phobia can be difficult to define because there are many types of fears associated with dentistry. Some fears are perfectly rational. Others may be irrational or rooted in general distrust. An extreme, overwhelming reaction is often indicative of a phobia, but many subtypes of dental anxiety and phobia exist.
Common Causes and Risk Factors Associated with Dentist Phobia
Virtually anyone of any age or from walk of life can suffer from dental phobia. Here are some of the most common causes and risk factors:
- Previous frightening, painful, or humiliating experiences in a dental setting
- A history of physical or emotional abuse, including bullying
- An uncaring or cold dentist, especially one who does not manage patient pain
- Fear of embarrassment or criticism of oral care habits
- Horror stories told by others or a loved one’s reaction to a negative dental experience
Effects of Dental Fear on Daily Life
Besides the uncomfortable symptoms from anxiety and untreated dental problems, the effects of dental fear can lead to a loss of self-esteem and a sense of guilt over dental neglect. In some cases, poor oral health can lead to general health issues, and the effects on a person’s social and professional life can be significant. Extreme dental phobia may even cause a patient to avoid all medical doctors for fear of them suggesting dental treatment after an oral examination.
Is Dental Fear Justified?
Today’s advanced dentistry is usually pain free, and modern dentists are more aware of the devastating impact of dental fear. Many who suffer from dental phobia report that finding a compassionate dentist who is willing to work with them to reduce anxiety has made a world of difference. Patients looking to escape dental anxiety should speak openly about their concerns with a dentist who understands and cares about their fears.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Downtown Detroit, call Gentle Dental at Jefferson Avenue today at (313) 879-4769 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Downtown Detroit. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental at Jefferson Avenue, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental at Jefferson Avenue.