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Dentophobia- Fear of dentists

Dentophobia- Fear of dentists

One of the most common phobias that people report regarding medical treatment is called dentophobia, which is a pathological fear of dental care or in particular the dentist him/her self. This phobia is also known as odontophobia. There are different extremes to this anxiety, from just simply being uncomfortable about having dental treatment to full blown avoidance of anything to do with dental care.

Very often this fear can be traced back to a person’s childhood where he/she may have had a traumatic experience in a dental surgery. Perhaps a less than sympathetic dentist or perhaps a procedure did not go according to plan. Also, there are sounds and sensations which are uncomfortable associated with dentists. Drill sounds, being able to see what is transpiring and extra long needles, can cause a great deal of discomfort which can lead to the fear and reinforce it.

Dentists have over the years become more sympathetic to people with dentophobia, and this understanding can help to explain the procedures to their perspective patients. In cases where this is not enough, psychotherapists can provide a really useful support for sufferers. Some dentists have even been trained in the use of clinical hypnosis to assist with a patient’s anxiety and even for pain management.

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