Reasons Behind Dental Phobias

Reasons Behind Dental Phobias

Apr 19, 2017

According to the Dental Fears Research Clinic has studied and determined that between 5-8% of the population avoid the dentist because of crippling fears of going. Another 20% only go when they have to for things like toothaches because of fears. Most children are also terrified or go through a phase of being terrified of the dentist before growing out of it, but some never do grow out of it! About 25% of the population by all estimations.

What you really need to find is a dentist with empathy. A dentist that understands how you feel, and who is really willing to work with you to help ensure you have a positive experience at the dentist without letting your oral health suffer.

The main reasons people fear dentists are quite varied, but at the same time all share a generally similar reasoning: a bad past experience with the dentist that has put them off from going again or the way they feel while they are there. Here are some of the top reasons people explain they avoid dentists:

  1. A Bad Dental Experience as A Child: The person cites a generally unpleasant or painful experience at the dentist and it has given them a bad impression of the dentist since. They vow to never return, and there is hardly anything someone can do to convince them otherwise. It wasn’t worth the pain, and they will just put up with any problems that come up over going through that miserable experience ever again in their adult life.
  2. Pre-Existing Disorder Anxieties: some people have general anxiety of the unknown and they just can’t get past anything otherwise so they never bother going to the dentist.
  3. Lack of Control: the feeling of lying in a supine position in a dentist chair with no control over what’s going on inside one’s mouth is most people’s furthest definition of “fun”, but for some it’s a downright unbearable thought. This is especially true for those suffering from PTSD who feel they have no control over their environment.
  4. Bad Teeth: some people may have a phobia of dentists after endless sittings of dental work for bad teeth. People who don’t take care of their teeth may have had endless crowns, caps, and cavities filled and after a while they just have enough. They don’t bother going back because they dread the next bout of hours sitting in a dental chair while having more work done to their already battered teeth. Simple daily oral care can generally help people avoid these conditions.
  5. Biological Mechanisms: some people still have that gagging feeling or sensation when they go to the dentist like they are being “suffocated” if you will. This is a miserable feeling so they decide to avoid going to the dentist. People with the most sensitive gag reflexes seem to fall into this category the most often.

If you are having dental issues, but have a deep-seeded fear of going to the dentist the most important, empowering thing you can do is find out where that fear is coming from. Acknowledging that you have an issue and a fear to conquer is the first step in getting over anything is realizing that there is an issue to be solved in the first place. Admitting that to yourself is a vital step. Figure out what causes that fear and complex for you personally. Is it a bad past experience? Is it a psychological condition? Knowing what is causing the issue is what can help you solve the problem! Commit to overcoming the condition by contacting a dentist who specializes in helping people overcome dental phobias. There are plenty out there that are willing to help if you just reach out.

We’re experts at dealing with dental phobia patients.  If you have any questions regarding this article contact us or call 909-465-1016.

The Ramona Dentistry Team

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