Do you have dentophobia?

Maya Driver

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I can't think of a single person I know who actually enjoys going to the dentist, but there are many people who dislike and even fear it so much that they will avoid an appointment at all costs. If you find that the idea of sitting in the dentist's chair brings you out in a cold sweat, makes you feel dizzy, sick and have a panic attack, you are a victim of dentophobia and you're not alone.

People all over the world suffer from this intense fear of the dentist and there can be many reasons behind the fear such as feeling embarrassed about oral hygiene and bad breath, fearing the potential pain of treatments, having bad experiences in the past, feeling helpless and not in control and even learning to fear the dentist from others.

If you have a fear of the dentist, there are ways that will help you deal with your fear - you can't ignore it because avoiding the dentist will lead to such bad tooth problems that you may be forced to have emergency surgery that could be very unpleasant. If you visit your dentist regularly, although it will be a scary experience, at least you'll get away with only minor check ups!

You could seek cognitive behavioural therapy for your fear if it is very severe. This form of treatment involves speaking with a therapist who will try to understand your patterns of thinking and help you to identify your 'false' attitudes and go about changing them. Another way to face your fear is to tell your dentist exactly how you feel, and they will be certain to be more gentle and understanding with you. You could opt for sedation during treatments but this is not always recommended. Finally you could find a dentist who specifically works with dentophobes. They are trained to use a range of methods to put their patients at ease including massages, scented candles, soothing music and hypnosis.

Do you suffer from dentophobia? How do you deal with your fear? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.