In America, approximately 8 percent of people are afraid of clowns and 15 percent are afraid of flying. However, neither of those compare to 36 percent of people being afraid of… the dentist?!
The fear of going to the dentist is known as, “Dentophobia,” and 1 in 3 Americans have it.
The most common way people develop dentophobia is by having a past traumatic experience at the dentist. Those experiences can be created through procedure complications, a painful visit, a bad interaction with the dentist or even hearing about someone else’s bad experience. The biggest fears at the dentist include fear of feeling pain, fear of shots and dental instruments and other anxious patients.
When people develop dentophobia, it can lead to a decrease in dental visits, which can impact a person’s oral health and lead to more serious dental complications. These can range from an increase in cavities, tooth decay or even reconstructive work in some cases. The age group that is most likely to have anxiety or fear towards the dentist are teenagers, specifically teens 15 to 18 (Beaton, Freeman & Humphris, 2014). The good news is that this phobia is treatable.
We know that, especially during the current time of COVID-19, your fears of going to the dentist can be made even worse.
We hope to help you feel better by sharing the following responsive and careful security measures we have put into place:
- Screens for all patients prior to appointments
- Non-contact temperature checks
- The provision of hand sanitizer for use at entry and exit
- Additional air purification systems
- Patients only at appointments unless the patient is a minor
- Social distancing and fewer scheduling options
- Limiting the waiting area guest count
Before your next appointment, we’d recommend you…
Connect with us prior to your appointment
If you’re anxious about your next treatment, schedule a time to meet with us before your appointment. We’ll be more than happy to talk to you about the procedure and what you can expect.
Practice relaxation techniques
Still feeling tense on your way to the dentist? Take some deep breaths, do a stretch or close your eyes to relax for a bit.
Ask for mild anesthesia
If you’re sitting in the dentist’s chair and feeling nervous about your upcoming treatment, ask us about receiving some mild anesthesia. This will help ease your mind and make the appointment seem quicker.
Talk with someone who had the fear
The most common way people overcome their dentophobia is by talking with someone you trust that has experienced it. Talking with someone who has gone through a similar situation will hopefully help build your hope, confidence and trust in the dentist.
Create a signal with your dentist
Most people with the phobia don’t ever speak up to the dentist, which causes the fear to worsen over time. Tell us if you need to take a break or if you need more anesthesia.
During your appointment, we invite you to…
Listen to music or watching TV
Do you have a song that you like to relax to? We’ve got headphones and Netflix to enjoy while laying back in the chair.
Enjoy a friendly conversation
Our dental team is so fun! Ask them about their experience or tell them about something good that’s going on in your life right now.
Everybody loves to have a great smile and we are here to keep your smile white and bright. Next time you’re feeling nervous about an upcoming appointment, try out these tips and see what happens!
We’re now taking Charlotte dentist appointments for Cleanings, Invisalign, Dental Implants, Crowns & Bridges, Veneers, Fillings, Root Canals, Nightguards, Breath Control, and Fluoride. Schedule now!
We can’t wait to see you!
Beaton, L., Freeman, R. & Humphris, G. (2014). Why are people afraid of the dentist? Observations and explanations. Retrieved June 12, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5586885/
Fritscher, L. (2020, March 18). Fear of Going to the Dentist: AKA Dentophobia. Retrieved June 11, 2020, from https://www.verywellmind.com/dentophobia-fear-of-dentists-2671855
Gentle Dental. (2020). Overcoming Dentophobia, a Fear of the Dentist. Retrieved from https://www.gentledental-mi.com/overcoming-dentophobia-a-fear-of-the-dentist/
Ingraham, C. (2014, October 30). America’s top fears: Public speaking, heights and bugs. Retrieved June 12, 2020, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/10/30/clowns-are-twice-as-scary-to-democrats-as-they-are-to-republicans/
Korneliussen, I. (2013, February 06). Why do we dread the dentist? Retrieved June 11, 2020, from https://sciencenorway.no/fear-of-dentists-forskningno-norway/why-do-we-dread-the-dentist/1382301