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If you have a fear of going to the dentist you are not alone. Up to 1 in 5 people report avoiding the dentist because of fear or anxiety. It is a phenomenon that affects millions of individuals.

As it turns out, dental phobia is much more than just regular anxiety. People who suffer from this affliction are left panicked and extremely terrified when they think of the dentist’s chair. They understand that their fears are unjustified, or even irrational, but logic has no impact on their feelings.

People who suffer from dental phobia will often do anything to avoid a visit to the dentist’s office. They will only go when they are forced to do so because of extreme pain. In some cases, the patient may require psychiatric care to overcome their objections.

There are a multitude of reasons why certain people have dental phobia and anxiety. Perhaps the most common reason is a fear of pain. This is of course ironic, because the fact is that proper dental care is a way of preventing pain or discomfort due to oral health issues.

The fear itself usually comes from a childhood dental experience that was disagreeable or painful. The good news is that thanks to the many advances in dentistry made over the years today’s dental procedures are pain-free or much less painful than in the past.

Signs of dental phobia include: (webmd.com)

  • Trouble sleeping the night before the dental exam.
  • Feelings of nervousness that escalate while in the dental office waiting room.
  • Crying or feeling physically ill at the very thought of visiting the dentist.
  • Intense uneasiness at the thought of, or actually when, objects are placed in your mouth during the dental treatment.
  • Suddenly feeling like it is difficult to breathe while in the dentist’s chair.

 

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