Dental Phobia: a Mental Health Issue You’ve Never Heard Of

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A trip to the dentist can be a scary experience. For many, it’s where they felt the first pain from a healthcare professional. Because of this, people are likely to develop a phobia from a visit to the dentist than the hospital.

Our teeth can be pretty fragile, and they would inevitably become loose and require extraction. However, exposed gums can be problematic because they can be a vector of oral disease. Therefore, implants are essential to keep exposed gums healthy. But for many, fear both the extraction and the implant. Interestingly enough, it’s not the operation they are afraid of, but the thoughts that are muddling their thoughts before such an operation.

That’s just one example of how dental phobia works. Despite the guaranteed safety of operations such as tooth implants and extractions and the zero chance of death from such an operation, people fear it more than anything else in the world.

Moreover, dental phobia can be guaranteed risks at the operating table. Irrational thoughts that form in their head can quickly manifest themselves physically. This is relatively common for children who grow aggressive during dental operations. However, untreated dental phobia can be detrimental to people’s future lives.

What Is Dental Phobia?

From the example we’ve stated above, dental phobia is a fear that people develop from the irrational thoughts they have about dentists. The dentist is the devil incarnate for people who have such a phobia, and they would do anything else for their teeth aside from the trip to the dentist. However, this does not mean that these people have healthy oral health.

People with dental phobia usually have a low socioeconomic status and are uneducated. Younger Americans and women are also more likely to have dental phobia. Moreover, people with dental phobia are susceptible to all sorts of oral diseases.

In the US, a staggering amount of the population has dental phobia. About 36% of the overall population have dental anxiety, a lesser form of dental phobia, while 12% have severe dental phobia. Those that have dental anxiety are likely to recover from such mental problems, while those who have severe dental phobia aren’t likely to recover from it.

It seems that everyone is susceptible to such an irrational fear of the dentist. But this is detrimental to our health. In fact, the US is on top of the countries with poor oral health. So what can we do if we have dental anxiety or dental phobias in our minds?

Curing Dental Phobia

dental phobia

Rationalizing Fears

First of all, if you have any dental phobia, you need to rationalize your fears. Do your research, and look into the most common dental operations. You’ll see that almost all of them pose zero risk. Additionally, if you look into all sorts of oral health diseases, you’ll see that you’re likely to get them by not visiting the dentist’s office.

Irrational fear is one of our worse enemies as human beings because such fear comes from our thoughts and imaginations. If we let these things take control of us, we will be left paralyzed by our very thoughts. It’s time to take control, and with thorough knowledge and research, we can dispose of such fears from our minds.

Control Anxiety and Stress

To control the anxiety and stress, you feel from visiting a dentist’s office. You’ll have to do some self-affirmation and breathing exercises. These exercises are usually enough to alleviate minor symptoms of dental phobia.

Start by listening to your favorite calming music. After a couple of seconds in, start breathing in for twenty to thirty seconds, and then breathing out. Also, start affirming yourself that everything will be alright. Remind yourself that dental operations pose zero risk to you, and you should be out of the dentist’s office in no time. By doing these things, you should alleviate some anxiety and stress before your visit.

Consider Alternative Treatment

Because of dental phobia, some dentists started to develop alternative treatments for their patients. One known treatment is sedation dentistry. This treatment reduces the chance of you feeling pain during dental operations. The treatment can even put you to sleep if you need it. Sedation dentistry is a good treatment that’ll help you with your dental phobia, but it can be pretty expensive.

Visit a Dental Phobia Expert

Lastly, if your dental phobia is getting worse and you think you can’t do anything about it, it might be time for you to visit a dental phobia expert. They should be able to treat your dental phobia in a matter of sessions.

Remember that your irrational fears are what’s stopping you from having good oral health. Let go of such fears and rid your life of oral health problems.

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