Fear towards dentists is common among both children and adults. While each person come up with an explanation or an excuse to skip out visiting the dentist, the stories seem to gravitate towards a few, common underlying reasons.
It is uncertain how these underlying dental fears came about and why they are so prominent.
Here are the most common reasons why people have fear over the dentist.
Fear of the truth coming out.
You may have let your good dental hygiene efforts slide a little and your dentist will know. You can say you brush properly and floss, but if the dentist pokes his or her head inside your mouth and observe a different story, guess what?, you’ll likely be called out on it. Some people don’t take criticism well. Others don’t like being told what to do. Hearing a dentist tell you your dental hygiene habits need improvements, it can be humbling and evoke shame and defensiveness.
Fear of pain or a botched procedure. People have a notion that dentists enjoy poking and probing around patient’s mouths with sharp, pointed object. The dentist is doing this to assess the integrity of your teeth and gums and to test for other, more serious oral health conditions like advanced gum problems, decay and other oral conditions.
Fear of snooping. Your teeth and gums don’t lie. A dentist can quickly determine how well your oral hygiene practices are as well as catch additional dental health issues you may have been oblivious to.
Fear of busyness. Some people don’t like being with large groups of people. They may be introverted or claustrophobic, so the idea of waiting in a small reception area with 100 other people will be too much for them. The hustling of people in and around a tiny (or large) dental office can be overwhelming to some patients.
Also, when the dental office is busy, the longer one will have to wait in that same dreaded, waiting room with outdated reading materials, boring elevator music and the constant, horrible sounds of drills and scrapping of teeth. Long waits also take away time out of your busy schedule, which for some can lead to even more stress.
Fear of the sights, sounds and organized chaos. For others, the sounds of people talking, children crying and screaming, the harsh, fluorescent lights, the sounds of the drill and tooth scraper, buffed teeth can be over-stimulating. For overly-sensitive people, the dentist can be anything but fun and relaxing.
Fear of the lack of connection and empathy. Busy dental offices can leave patients feeling invisible and more like a number than a person with a name. As compassionate as the dental staff tries to be with each patient, it can be tough when the office is suddenly busy and the needs of multiple patients are pulling the hygienists in multiple directions.
When people don’t feel comfortable or when there isn’t a personal connection with the dentist or staff, the above mentioned fears become even more debilitating.
While patients may give different reasons why they are scared to go to the dentist, most cases can be boiled down to either a fear of pain, indifference by the staff, the scary, overwhelming environment, the fear of the dentist finding a more serious or additional dental issues, the dentist calling them out on the inadequacy of their oral hygiene habits or a botched procedure.
Fortunately, patients today who experience moderate to severe fear of the dentist have multiple relaxation options to help them overcome their fear and get the necessary dental work done.
If your fear towards the dentist is keeping you from seeing the dentist and getting crucial dental care treatment, research dentists in your neighborhood and set up a consultation.