Dentophobia: Are you afraid of the dentist?

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Everything you need to know about the fear of going to the dentist

It is necessary to go to the dentist regularly to ensure good oral health. It is not a purely aesthetic issue but a health issue, so it is important. However, some phobias such as dentophobia can make us postpone or even avoid going to the dentist out of fear. Or panic. We tell you everything about dentophobia or fear of the dentist in our dictionary of phobias .

What is dentophobia

Dentophobia is the fear of the dentist . It is true that fear of the dentist has a very logical part because most of the time we suffer pain, and the discomfort caused by anything they do to our mouth is inevitable. In addition, arriving at the consultation with certain oral problems can also cause us to suffer from low self-esteem.

So far the logical and rational part of the fear of the dentist that we have all experienced at some time. But do you avoid going to the dentist even though you know your mouth is asking for a check-up? Do you postpone the appointment with the dentist over and over again even though you know that it is causing you more problems? Then maybe you suffer from dentophobia.

Symptoms of dentophobia

Fear is the main symptom of any phobia. A fear that triggers a series of physical reactions such as uncontrolled nerves, dizziness, excessive sweating, palpitations, panic attacks or panic attacks. All this with the prospect of going to the dentist. And with this scenario, the normal thing is that you try to avoid the situation or the so-called stimulus of the phobia, which in this case is going to the dentist.

But avoidance behavior can in turn cause other psychic symptoms, with low self-esteem as the main problem. We all know the importance of having a healthy mouth when interacting with others, so not treating dentophobia can lead to social isolation .

Causes of dentophobia

As we say, fear of the dentist is one of those phobias in which the origin of fear can be understood. Who has not experienced an unpleasant, uncomfortable and painful episode in a dental clinic? If that moment was lived with a great emotional load, it is reason enough to consider it a traumatic experience and that the phobia develops.

But in addition to the traumatic experience in dentophobia, other fears that arise from previous anxiety problems , from the fear of not having a healthy mouth and from that other fear of relating to others with a bad mouth, come into play. Because the mouth, we remember, is what we use to eat, to smile, to kiss, to speak …

Treatment of dentophobia

We always advise psychological therapy to overcome any phobia and in the case of dentophobia as well. The psychologist will surely opt for cognitive behavioral therapy to eradicate that distorted thinking that creates irrational fear. Once the thought is eliminated, the avoidance behavior can be modified.

But we insist that it should be done with a professional psychologist. We all know, and people who suffer from dentophobia also know it, that despite the fear it may cause, it is necessary to go to the dentist . Avoidance comes from a mental disorder and that we cannot overcome by ourselves.

Dentists themselves can also intervene in the treatment of dentophobia , with empathy and offering guarantees to stop the activity if anxiety presses, promptly administering anxiolytics or reassuring the patient. In the most serious cases of dentophobia, the patient can be sedated when they go to the dentist, but all this must, without a doubt, be accompanied by psychotherapy.

Written by Giorgia Stromeo

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