Question: What is a dental phobia and where does it originate from?

 

Answer: The word phobia is described as an irrational and sometimes disproportional fear that causes the sufferer to avoid the feared experience. In this case the feared experience is the dental visit or the actual treatment. Depending on the severity of the phobia, physical symptoms can be present. Such symptoms might include nausea or "butterflies", increased heart rate, sweating and the inability to concentrate. In rare instances, it can even be to the point where even the chair cannot be reclined. Some people may even experience a full-blown panic attack at the thought of visiting a dentist.

 

The most common fears of the dental patient are pain, lack of control, and the unknown. Many patients present to the dentist either in pain or endured a painful dental visit in the past. This could involve the actual injection, or the treatment or even the events that follow the treatment. Some patients are nervous and fearful that they have no control over the situation and cannot participate or be interactive in the decisions of the treatment. Others simply are scared because they do not know what to expect and have nothing to compare the upcoming experience with. No matter what the issue

While it's true that phobias can be overcome, treating a phobia can be a long process. It often makes more sense to take care of much-needed dental work and deal with issues of fear as time allows. Extreme fear or phobia associated with dental care could make you the perfect candidate for sedation dentistry!

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