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