The psychology behind dental phobia

Learn more about dental fear and what you can do to get over you fear of the dentist
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19/06/2014

The dental professionals at Precise Dental Surgery in Beaumont Hills, Kellyville Plaza and Edgecliff want to let you know that you are not alone.

If you are suffering from dental phobia learn about the ways you can get over it!

In fact the results from a study published in the Australian Dental Journal called “Dental fear in Australia: who’s afraid of the dentist?” suggest that nearly one in five Australians have dental phobia.

In fact, dental fear is so common there are actually a number of different scales to measure anxiety, formulated by a variety of professionals. These are scales such as the:

  • Corah’s Dental Anxiety Scale (DAS)
  • Modified Dental Anxiety Scale (MDAS)

So what are so many Australians afraid of?

There are a number of factors that drive dental fear and it’s not just Australians experiencing these fears. Dental phobia is prevalent worldwide, so much so that the University of Washington has a Dental Fear Research Clinic. This clinic conducted a study looking at what categories dental fear appears in. Their research suggested that dental fear was dispersed between:

  • Generalised anxiety: Those who have general levels of anxiety across many areas of their life appear more likely than not to experience dental anxiety.
  • Distrust of dental personnel: Past negative experiences or an assumption of future negative experiences which may not have even occurred appear to drive some dental anxiety.
  • Fear of specific stimuli: An association between some dental equipment, such as needles or drills, and negative emotions can promote dental fear.
  • Fear of a medical emergency: For some, the fear of potential dental catastrophes caused dental phobia.

How can fear if the dentist be damaging?

In a study published by the International Dental Journal the statistics suggested that those who were reported to have a high level of dental anxiety were:

  • More likely to defer dental care
  • Appeared to visit the dentist episodically
  • Often did not discriminate between self-diagnosed dental concerns and concerns reported by a dentist in terms of what triggered dental anxiety

Overall, these statistics and profiling of the demographic is concerning. Putting of the dental care you need because you’re afraid of the dentist could result in a number of more serious oral concerns down the track!

Does the thought of going to the dentist scare you? Do you hate dental drills? We can help!

Does the thought of going to the dentist scare you? Do you hate dental drills? We can help!

We can help alleviate dental phobia with our range of virtually pain free sleep dentistry treatments. Our caring team at our Beaumont Hills, Edgecliff and Kellyville Plaza practice locations offer a comprehensive range of medical options to help eliminate dental fear, including nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and general and local anaethesia.

In addition to these options our dental professionals are also trained to provide compassionate and attentive care to every one of our patients, so you can relax – you are in good hands with Precise Dental Surgery.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at Precise Dental Surgery in Beaumont Hills, Kellyville Plaza and Edgecliff to learn more or to book a consultation with us.