Got dentophobia? That’s the official term for people who are so frightened of the dentist that they simply avoid getting oral care, even when they are in severe pain.
Sometimes the fear is caused by experiencing pain during treatment, often decades ago. Although dental treatments have advanced over the years, the dentophobic person doesn’t know that – they’ve been avoiding the dentist at all costs.
About five percent of people have a phobic level of dental fear, according to researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Twenty percent or so deal with dental anxiety.
Dentophobia may require the help of a dentist who specializes in fearful patients, while you may be able to manage simple anxiety with typical coping techniques such as deep breathing, distracting yourself, or reminding yourself how much better you’ll feel when the dental treatment is over. You can also be especially conscientious about taking care of your oral health, in order to reduce the complexity of the care that you need from your dentist.
Anxiety can also be reduced by educating yourself on what to expect – your worst fears almost certainly don’t reflect the reality of modern dentistry, as this infographic created by Mawson Lakes Dental in Australia reveals: