I hit the panic button when it’s time to go to treat my teeth – is it dentofobia or just fear?
Dentofobia, or, as it is also called odontophobia, is a panic insuperable fear of the dentist.
How can one distinguish phobia from ordinary fear? It’s one thing to worry before going to a doctor, and quite another to panic, even from the idea of dental treatment. Delaying to the last moment of going to a dentist, even despite the acute toothache, can also be a sign of dentofobia. Already in a dental chair, a person suffering from such a disease, because of panic attacks, is not able to contact a doctor, and from any actions of the dentist his blood pressure rises and his heart rate increases. Moreover, such an atypical patient can easily lose consciousness.
But to fight with dentofobia just refusing to visit dentistry is in any case impossible. If you do not visit your doctor in time, caries turns into pulpitis, gums become inflamed before periodontitis, and severely damaged teeth can only be removed. The lack of proper and timely treatment has a devastating effect on health of the whole organism: infection in mouth leads to the development of diseases of the digestive tract, inflammation of endocrine glands, rheumatism, bronchial asthma and other ailments – everything in our body is interrelated.
Therefore, dentofobia is necessary and possible to fight with.
- Remember that beauty requires sacrifice. What is better – to suffer for 30 minutes or to surprise others with a clumsy tooth and a putrid smell from the mouth?
- To begin with, go to the dentist with someone of your family who is currently being treated. Get used to the atmosphere of the clinic.
- Do not run problems. Often the cause of fear is a previously experienced strong toothache. If you regularly go to examinations of your dentist (once every six months) and treat your teeth in stages, on time and without complications, then you will learn to trust your doctor soon.
- When you are going to see a doctor, make an appointment beforehand and tell him immediately that you are a “difficult patient”, that you can run away and that you are afraid and do not intend to treat anything on your first visit, but would like to discuss treatment with your doctor. A good and experienced dentist will treat your problem carefully. If at the first meeting with the doctor you did not find his understanding, do not go to him anymore – it’s already useless! Go to another. You have every right to discuss with a doctor what methods of overcoming fear exist in general and which one is acceptable in your case.
- Be cautious with an independent solution to the problem of “removing anxiety”. All sorts of soothing pills-tinctures- extracts-syrups (all oral preparations) are far from ideal soothing. Each person has a sedative effect of the drug at different times and it may also last different times – it all depends on the general condition of the body, characteristics of metabolism, on what and when they eat, everything is purely individual. And it is almost impossible to calculate the exact moment when the effect of the drug will be maximum, and even so that at that moment you just sat in the dental chair.
- It is possible that based on the results of your “preliminary conversation”, a dentist will offer an intravenous calming injection before treatment. In most cases this is the most effective option – a patient does not sleep, but is relaxed and calm. Moreover, this method of overcoming fear treats dentobobia in principle. That is, next time you will come to a doctor more confidently and calmly – the body will remember that it was not so scary!
- Another way to defeat fear of the dentist may seem too simple for you. But, nevertheless, it helps a lot of sufferers! The secret is that you need to bring a loved one to your office, whom you trust very much. Mom or dad, wife or beloved husband, older brother, younger sister, beloved aunt or just a close friend.
- The whole secret is in the”right” dentist. Until you find your doctor, you will hardly be able to overcome fear of the dentist. So, try to find out among your friends first of all whether they have a very professional and sympathetic doctor, whom they have been going to for years.
- It is not necessary to dismiss such absolutely medicineless way to overcome fear as an ordinary conversation about this problem! You may even need to seek help from a psychologist.
In childhood, dentofobia occurs much more often than in adult life. This is due to lability of children’s emotions, lack of previous experience of visits to the dentist. Especially difficult is this phobia for children aged 2 to 5 years, because at this age children are not yet able to control their emotions and actions, they are poorly available to contact and cannot fully talk about their experiences and fears.
Why a child is afraid of a dentist
In most cases, dentofobia is caused by the first unsuccessful hike to the dentist. Pediatric dentofobia has the same reasons as the adult variant of phobia:
- Fear of the unknown;
- Fear of pain;
- Negative previous experience of visiting not only the dentist, but also a doctor of another specialization;
- Wrong behavior of parents.
How can you save the child from fear?
If a child is afraid of a dentist, then most likely, the reason will be in an unpleasant first communication with a doctor of this specialty. It is the first visit to the dentist that will shape the small person’s further attitude to dentistry.
Overcoming dentofobia will contribute to:
maximum contact of a doctor with a young patient. The level of a child fear will significantly decrease if a small excursion is conducted for him before treatment, during which you can show the room, tell about tools, show pictures about teeth and their treatment.
- use of anesthesia in the treatment of teeth.
- use of modern noiseless therapeutic techniques. The absence of unpleasant sensations, a sound of the drill, and a short duration of the procedures are the main enemies of childish fear.
- use of multimedia devices, thanks to which a small patient can listen to pleasant music, audiobooks of fairy tales or watch your favorite cartoon and distract from treatment procedure and negative emotions associated with it.
- correct behavior of parents. If mother or father in front of the dentist’s office is nervous and anxious, then this feeling is passed on to a child, and he instinctively begins to fear. Sometimes the phobia can be strengthened by harmless at first glance phrases “do not be afraid”,”there will not be hurt”, “it’s not scary”, which are pronounced with the purpose of calm and which can have the opposite effect. Before the dentist’s office behavior of parents should be natural, and the visit itself it is better not to make a big event. It is necessary that a child from childhood feel that caring for the health of his teeth is a common thing.