The fear of the dentist haunts us since childhood and does not seem to abandon us even in adulthood. At the sight of the dentist and his equipment there arises an uncontrolled state of anxiety and tension, often accompanied by a feeling of general malaise – like nausea and loss of consciousness – which at worst may be the harbinger of a real phobia, known as odontophobia. Let’s see what it is.
Why is the dentist so scared?
Compared to other professional medical figures, that of the dentist incites an exaggeratedly greater panic in the patient. Why does it happen? Here are some reasons that could justify these unpleasant moods:
- Past experience – A negative experience in dental surgery can significantly affect the present and future mood of the patient, even at the sight of a new dentist.
- Waiting Room – The waiting room is the first environment we come into contact with. Often it is a particularly quiet room, without furniture, poorly lit, with walls covered with posters that show unpleasant images of teeth and mouths affected by particular diseases.
- Surgery – After the waiting room you enter the clinic, a place full of strange equipment with unknown functions, where the chair that will host the patient is the host. It is precisely the armchair that generates a strong negative emotional state in
- the subject: being lying down, undergoing the dentist’s care without having control of their pain, amplifies the state of anxiety.
- Dentist – One of the main causes of the patient’s emotional state is the figure of the dentist who, especially in past times, regardless of the subject’s mood and his pain threshold, began to operate without discussing doubts or fears. Fortunately, this does not happen (almost) anymore.
- Personal Attitude – Personal moods, as well as periods of particular stress, can greatly affect sessions at the dentist.
How to overcome the fear of the dentist?
Like all fears, even that of the dentist can be overcome. Here are some simple precautions to live dental chairs with more confidence:
- Choice of dentist – Opt for a dentist who is not limited to working on the patient but who tries to establish a dialogue with him, trying to understand the pain threshold of the subject, for example asking him to raise his hand when he feels pain or asks the patient permission to continue, giving him the opportunity to take breaks from time to time.
- Choice of the surgery – Opt for pleasant and non-dismal environments, perhaps with background music and images on the walls that go beyond the medical world. When choosing the clinic, it is advisable to inquire about the equipment and sedatives available to choose the one that best meets your needs.
- State of mind – Always go to the dentist accompanied by a trusted person who is not afraid of the dentist. Ask the dentist to listen to music or watch TV during operations. Remember that current dental procedures are much less traumatic than pain that can cause a toothache.
- Consult a psychologist – If despite the precautions listed above your fear for the dentist persists, you may be suffering from a real phobia (odontophobia). In these cases it is good to consult a psychologist to find a method to better face the next dental sessions.
Mistakenly, many avoid preventive dental care just to stem the fear of the dentist. Let’s not forget the importance of prevention: periodic dental visits will ensure an optimal state, to detect the presence of certain diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as to better face future visits to the dentist, without fear!