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What Are the Most Common Reasons People Struggle with Dental Phobia?

Posted on 9/10/2019 by Dr Jonathan Ford
What Are the Most Common Reasons People Struggle with Dental Phobia?When you decide to become a dentist, you realize that you are choosing a profession that instills fear in the hearts and minds of much of mankind. With time you learn that the fear of the dentist is not restricted to Americans, but apparently afflicts people around the world.

If you fear of our profession escalates from simple anxiety to a full-blown phobia, you will find you are suffering from odontophobia.

The fear of dentists has been the subject of numerous studies because it is so common and because this fear can cause you to avoid the dentist which can eventually lead to medical problems as well as dental problems. But one thing that came from the studies is the top reasons people fear us.

Why Do People Fear the Dentist?

People fear us for a variety of reasons. One reason is simply that we work with your mouth. Studies found that this is considered a vulnerable part of our body because it affects our air passages. Some people have extremely strong survival instincts and having someone poke around in their mouths with complete control over us leads to triggering the survival mechanisms. This is particularly true of people who like to be in control.

Another impact the desire for control has that is related to coming to see us is that you feel helpless. First, you are lying down in a chair with no clear way to escape should your survival instincts kick in. Then you have us in control of your mouth and air passages. This combined with lying prone in the chair apparently is like a double-whammy to people who are accustomed to being in control of everything.

When you are a child, you learn from the people around you. When you are very young and likely to have your first dental appointment, you learn mostly from your parents. When you go to your first dental visit if your parents are afraid of us that fear will be felt by the child.

If their first experience turns out well then they may overcome their fear quickly and easily. If, on the other hand, their parents delayed the first visit due to their own fears, their child's first visit could involve fillings or a lot of tartar removal which could reinforce the fear rather than eliminate it.

If you are anxious about the dentist let us know when you make your appointment. We will take special care to alleviate your fears.

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