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Overcoming Dental Phobia

Fear of dentists is a common phenomenon observed universally. Most people might have faced anxiety or dental phobia while undergoing dental treatment.

Talking about dental phobia, the reasons for it to develop are:

  • Bad past experiences

  • Listening to others' experiences

  • Seeing others undergo treatment

  • History of abuse

  • Unfriendly or uncaring dentists.

According to British Dental Journal, the prevalence of dental anxiety is estimated to be 13-20% in adults and 10% in children.Dental phobia causes hesitation to visit dentists which may in turn affect a patient's oral health status and the quality of life.

How to overcome dental phobia?

  • A dental practitioner should make all the efforts to understand the aetiology of Dental phobia or dental anxiety.

  • To improve the overall oral health, patients must be encouraged to openly communicate their fears and discuss available treatment options.

  • Dentists should establish a rapport, carefully listen and analyse the reasons behind patients' dental phobia in a relaxed & comfortable environment.

  • Relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises can also be used to diminish fear which helps the patient relax in a dental chair.

  • Taking advantage of technology like playing a video or light music can help patients relax while undergoing treatment.

Elimination of dental phobia should be the main motto of every dentist as it helps the patients develop a positive attitude towards maintaining a good oral hygiene.

~ By Dr.Sofiya Dayatar

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