Topic
Dental Anxiety and Phobia
Created by host on 1/22/2011 10:12:23 PM

Dental phobia which is generated due to dental anxiety is a severe and intense fear without any particular reason. Due to this phobia, people use to avoid the visit to the dental surgeon due to intense fear and terror


There are many people who hesitate to visit a dentist, rather they remain interested to see a physician. Perhaps many of them are afraid of having pain due to dental procedures. Majority of the individuals don’t know this fact that dental procedures are absolutely painless. The dental examination makes many of the people scared and that is the reason they don’t come back after initial visits. Many of the people develop severe anxiety before going to visit a dentist. Those individuals who acquire dental phobia develop terror and they try to avoid visiting to the dentist at any cost. These people don’t leave any stone unturned in order to avoid their visit to a dentist.

People use two words, like anxiety and phobia in order to represent the same thing, however; in actual both of these two things are different. This should be noted that, these two conditions, like dental anxiety and phobia are extremely common and according to an estimate, approximately 15% of patients avoid their visit to the dentist due to this anxiety and fear.

What is dental anxiety?

Dental nxiety is a condition in which a person starts to get palpitations before visiting any dentist, those patients, who develop dental anxiety, use to get sense of uneasiness and they develop extreme sweating and feelings of getting exhausted.

What is dental phobia?

Phobia which is generated due to dental anxiety is a severe and intense fear without any particular reason. The patient develop intense fear which could not be prevented. Those who develop phobia also acquire panic attacks and become terrified.

How can anxiety affect dental health?

Due to this phobia and anxiety, people avoid the visit to the dentist due to intense fear and terror, and tend  to do several acts like trying to pull out their teeth, developing gum infections including periodontal illnesses and pain, etc.

People who develop dental phobia do have increased risk of  gum diseases and they also possess the chances of early teeth loss. Obviously, visiting a dentist would help eliminating various problems like discoloration of teeth and painful gums, etc. However; the anxiety for visiting a dentist is itself the biggest problem. The individuals use to smile less and they remain scared to open their mouth.

The severity of dental anxiety and phobia varies from one situation to the other. Some people are there who just acquire palpitations only, however; on the other hand, there are several people, who try to run away from the dentist’s office. The best thing is to change the mind and to change the thoughts. If the condition becomes severe then the help of a psychotherapist could be taken. This condition is treatable, however; if the treatment is avoided then the psychological and physical problems would be generated that could not be resolved easily.

What can my dentist do to help?

  • Nitrous oxide also known as laughing gas can decrease the anxiety
  • Oral conscious sedation-pills
  • IV sedation
  • General anesthesia, for patients with severe anxiety or those requiring extensive dental surgery, often used with children. 
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