When we think of people having phobias, the more common ones such as arachnophobia and claustrophobia come to mind. Whilst many people are terrified of spiders and enclosed spaces, there is also a significant number who have a debilitating fear of dentists, and for the record that is known as dentophobia.
At this point, we must make a distinction between phobias and fears. Most people have some level of fear regarding specific things they dislike and that can include spiders and the dentist. However, when those fears are irrational, cause you to behave in certain ways, and make you mentally traumatised, they become phobias. The problem is that a phobia of the dentist can negatively impact your oral health, and that is adding one problem on top of another.
To try and help anyone who has either a fear or a phobia about visiting their dentist, we are going to suggest some ways you can try to overcome them. What we are not going to say is “pull yourself together” because we are sure you have heard that a thousand times, and unless someone knows exactly how you are feeling, advice like that is far from helpful.
This is known to help resolve lots of different phobias and works on the basis that you chip away at your phobia a little bit at a time. In the case of dentophobia, you take small steps towards being able to have your dentist treat you. You could start by driving to the dental surgery’s car park. Next time, go into the reception area. You might speak to the receptionist or the dentist on your next visit.
Moving on you might sit in the dentist’s chair, and just relax there for a while. Next time have an examination but not treatment. Next, a session where the dentist takes an x-ray and so on until you can have full appointments such as a cleaning or teeth whitening.