Fear of the Dentist – Is “Dental Phobia” a Misnomer?

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What is dental phobia?

A “phobia” is traditionally defined as “an irrational severe fear that leads to avoidance of the feared situation, object or activity” (however, the Greek word “phobia” simply means fear). Exposure to the feared stimulus provokes an immediate anxiety response, which may take the form of a panic attack. The phobia causes a lot of distress, and impacts on other aspects of the individual’s life, not just their oral health. Dental phobics will spend an awful lot of time thinking about their teeth or dentists or dental situations, or else spend a lot of time trying not to think of teeth or dentists or dental situations. This is an article from DentalFearCentral.org it will explain to us more about dental phobia.

What is Dental Phobia?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) describes dental phobia as a “marked and persistent fear that is excessive or unreasonable”. It also assumes that the person recognizes that the fear is excessive or unreasonable. Conclusion? The DSM-IV criteria were obviously not decided upon by a representative group of dental phobics (read on to see why). Having said that, there is a new revised version coming out soon, so maybe the definition will have changed. You might be interested to learn that DSM-IV’s predecessor, DSM-III, defined homosexuality as a mental disorder :roll:… I’d hazard a guess that many if not most dental phobics would object to being labeled as having a mental disorder. read the full article here.

You have to be in control when the dentists are examining. The idea is letting the dentist know you are comfortable during the proceedings. It is important that you remain in your comfort zone and effectively communicate with the dentist so they will also know your state. If you get anxious or nervous at any particular situation, it will be good to send out a warning signal to your dentist. He will then stop the proceedings. Let’s read the next article of Richard Sine

Don’t Fear the Dentist

John Gamba was 9 years old when a dentist failed to anesthetize a back molar properly and hit a nerve dead-on. The result was a lifelong fear of dentists that reached a peak in his 20s, when he stopped going to the dentist entirely. “I couldn’t even drive by a dentist’s office without getting stressed out,” he tells WebMD.

Gamba was 38 when a chipped back molar began to decay, eventually causing him constant pain. “I was paralyzed. I couldn’t even consider going [to the dentist’s office],” says Gamba, an Internet entrepreneur from Naples, Fla. “It was much easier to accept the pain, sick as that sounds.”

Read the full article here: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/dont-fear-the-dentist

 

Whatever you decide to do, the best way to get over your fear of the dentist long term is first to accept that dental care by a skilled dentist is essential to your overall health and well-being, and then to make dental treatment almost unnecessary, so that you don’t actually need anything beyond the occasional check-up and cleaning. Call us or check our dentist here for more information how to remove your fear and have a beautiful smile once again.

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