A General Dentist Talks About Dental Phobia

General Dentistry Kirkland, WA

Dental phobia is typically classified as a more severe form of dental anxiety. It leads many people to avoid visiting the dentist altogether, and those who do visit the dentist battle through fear and severe anxiety. The good news is that there are effective ways for a general dentist to help patients who struggle with dental phobia.

A review of dental phobia and how it is treated

General dentists understand the prevalence of dental phobia, and the best general dentists do all they can to help patients who are dealing with fear, anxiety, and stress. The following is a review of dental phobia, including insights into what it is exactly, potential causes, how it is treated, and ways to prevent children from developing it.

Dental phobia explained

In the simplest terms, the term dental phobia refers to a fear of visiting the dentist. There is a difference between having a dental phobia and dental anxiety. Anxiety is milder and something many if not most patients deal with to a certain degree, whereas dental phobia is more severe and harder to treat. There are many different causes of dental phobia (see below), and determining the root cause is often important in dealing with the condition. The goal for treatment is to minimize the symptoms and hopefully mostly overcome the phobia over time.

Causes of dental phobia

As mentioned, determining the cause of dental phobia is an important step to overcoming the issue. Several of the more common causes of dental phobia include:

  • Painful procedures
  • Being judged by the dentist
  • Loud noises from dental tools
  • Bad previous experiences with a dentist
  • A misconception of dental visits

Many dental phobias are not rational and caused by bad past experiences or a misconception of what takes place during a visit. To determine the cause of the dental phobia, patients should consider the reasons they are hesitant to visit and discuss their concerns with the general dentistry team or someone else they trust.

How dental phobia is treated

There are several ways general dentists can treat a dental phobia. If the patient fears a painful procedure, then the dentist may use sedation to ensure the patient does not feel discomfort. If the concern is loud noises caused by dental tools, then they may recommend wearing headphones during treatment. A misconception of what to expect or fear from bad past experiences can often be treated by discussing the treatment process with a dentist during a consultation visit.

General dentists may also try to prevent dental anxiety or dental phobia from developing in young children by making their office kid-friendly, which may include a friendly staff that communicates well with children, colorful and fun play areas inside the office, and much more.

Are you struggling with dental phobia?

If you have dental phobia, then know that you are not alone. Our general dentistry team helps many patients with dental anxiety and phobia overcome their fears and receive the dental care they need in a comfortable and stress-free environment.

Request an appointment here: https://www.kirklanddentalexcellence.com or call Kirkland Dental Excellence at (425) 365-0856 for an appointment in our Kirkland office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: General Dentist in Kirkland, WA.

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