Dentophobia: Causes, Triggers, Symptoms And Treatment

Dentophobia also termed as Odontophobia, is an extreme, irrational fear of dentists, dental clinics and dental treatments.
Dentophobia, also termed as Odontophobia, is an extreme, irrational fear of dentists, dental clinics and dental treatments. People with this phobia are generally opposed to the idea of visiting the dentist even if they are in visible pain or have a deteriorating dental health.
Dentophobia, also termed as Odontophobia, is an extreme, irrational fear of dentists, dental clinics and dental treatments. People with this phobia are generally opposed to the idea of visiting the dentist even if they are in visible pain or have a deteriorating dental health. Unsplash

Fear is a human emotion invoked in humans from the time of infancy. Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by recognizing or perceiving danger or threat of danger which may be physical or psychological in nature.

Every human experiences this emotion pretty commonly and is afraid of something in their life. Sometimes these fears can be as basic as being afraid of horror movies or sometimes they could be debilitating in nature, preventing people from living their life to the fullest.

What is a Phobia?

According to the National Institute Of Mental Health, Phobia is an extreme, irrational fear of something that poses little to no extreme danger. In such cases, individuals may be well aware of the fact that their fears are irrational but even the thought of facing those phobic stimuli or situations may bring anxiety symptoms or panic attacks.

While fear is a natural human reaction, Phobia is an anxiety disorder. A fear becomes a phobia when the mental or physical response to the stimulus is debilitating and intervenes with the day to day well being or functioning of an individual.

According to the National Institute Of Mental Health, Phobia is an extreme, irrational fear of something that poses little to no extreme danger.

What Is Dentophobia?

Dentophobia, also termed as Odontophobia, is an extreme, irrational fear of dentists, dental clinics and dental treatments. People with this phobia are generally opposed to the idea of visiting the dentist even if they are in visible pain or have a deteriorating dental health. A quarter of our population is known to be affected by this phobia and this phobia has been known to affect an individual's oral health and subsequently have an impact on the quality of life.

Dentophobia, also termed as Odontophobia, is an extreme, irrational fear of dentists, dental clinics and dental treatments.
One of the many possible causes of dentophobia includes insecurities regarding their poor oral hygiene, alignment of teeth, appearance or color of their teeth.
One of the many possible causes of dentophobia includes insecurities regarding their poor oral hygiene, alignment of teeth, appearance or color of their teeth.Unsplash

What Causes Dentophobia?

Possible causes of dentophobia include:

Past negative experience - A previous negative, traumatic or a painful experience suffered by an individual can instill fear or sense of dread in their minds

Family History - The risk of developing a phobia increases if there n#39;s a history of dentophobia or any phobia or anxiety disorder amongst the family members

Informative- An acquisition of fear through listening to negative dental experiences of someone else like a family member, close friends or colleagues

Insecurities - The individual may suffer from insecurities regarding their poor oral hygiene, alignment of teeth, appearance or color of their teeth

The sight or sound of dental instruments as well as the thought of the introduction of sharp tools and instruments in the mouth causes anxiety in most of the patients.
The sight or sound of dental instruments as well as the thought of the introduction of sharp tools and instruments in the mouth causes anxiety in most of the patients.Unsplash

What Are The Triggers of Dentophobia -

Some of the common triggers of dentophobia include:

• Mere thought of visiting a dentist or a dental clinic can instill a sense of distress or anxiety

• Dental clinical setups or waiting for the appointment at dental clinics can act as a trigger in some individuals

• The process of being seated at the dental chair and being prepared for the procedure also acts as one of many triggers

The antiseptic smell of dental clinics is also one of the many trigger factors for dentophobia

• The sight or sound of dental instruments as well as the thought of the introduction of sharp tools and instruments in the mouth causes anxiety in most of the patients

• The antiseptic smell of dental clinics is also one of the many trigger factors for dentophobia

The signs and symptoms of dentophobia include shaking and trembling,  breathlessness, lightheadedness, feeling of dread, anxiety or panic.
The signs and symptoms of dentophobia include shaking and trembling, breathlessness, lightheadedness, feeling of dread, anxiety or panic.Unsplash

What Are The Symptoms Of Dentophobia ?

The sign and symptoms of dentophobia include following of these:

• Nausea

• Chills

• Lightheadedness and dizziness

• Excessive sweating

• Breathlessness

• Shaking and trembling

• Increased heart rates

• Feeling of dread, panic or anxiety

• Crying at the thought of visiting a dentist

• Suffering from panic attacks or nightmares the night before the appointment

How To Assess Dentophobia?

Dentophobia can be assessed by the following methods:

• Corah's dental anxiety scale

• The index of dental anxiety and fear

• Modified child dental anxiety scale (MCDAS)

• Dental fear survey (DFS)

In the beginning, a lot of people do not think of dental anxiety or dentophobia as a great deal but it is indeed of great concern because most of dentophobic people tend to avoid dental checkups which may ultimately have a poor effect on their oral health. Dentistry has seen great advancement in the last few years which has led to dental procedures being less painful and invasive in nature. Also, talking to your dentist about your condition helps a great deal because they are trained to handle such situations and conditions. Lastly, I would advise people to embrace their fears instead of avoiding them because dental health plays a significant role in the overall health of an individual.
Dr. Samridhi Soumya (BDS), Currently practicing in Delhi

How To Manage Dentophobia?

On a positive scale, all phobias can be overcome with the help of several techniques and exercises. Depending upon the severity of phobias, it involves different approaches and techniques adopted to help overcome the phobia. Some of the ways involve:

One obvious solution includes talking to the dentist and letting them know about the condition. It can help dentist develop an understanding of the situation and they could help an individual by employing gentler and a different approach than a regular one

Distraction techniques- This involves distracting the patient's attention from the negative thoughts permeating in their head. It can involve physical distraction techniques like advising the patients to focus on some other body parts like wiggling of toes and fingers or it could involve virtual distractions like movies through television or listening to songs through headphones

Psychotherapeutic Interventions- Behavior or cognitive strategies are the ones employed in psychotherapeutic interventions. Behavior modification therapies aim to modify the behavior using breathing and muscle relaxation exercises as well as employing acupuncture, hypnosis, positive reinforcements, stop- signaling and exposure based treatments like tell- show-do

Different approaches and techniques to overcome dentophobia include breathing and muscle relaxation techniques, distraction techniques and cognitive behavior therapy.
Different approaches and techniques to overcome dentophobia include breathing and muscle relaxation techniques, distraction techniques and cognitive behavior therapy.Unsplash

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - This is a combination of cognitive therapy and behavior therapy and is currently the most widely accepted treatment for anxiety and phobia

Pharmacological intervention - In case where the patient is unresponsive or unwilling to undergo any of the above-mentioned therapies then pharmacological therapies like sedation and general anesthesia are employed

Introducing positive reinforcements and desensitizing children could help instill awareness and interest about oral health from an early age.
Introducing positive reinforcements and desensitizing children could help instill awareness and interest about oral health from an early age.Unsplash

Conclusion

Dentophobia is a very common condition seen in people of all age groups but what could prove helpful in the long run is desensitizing individuals from a very young age by creating awareness about oral health.

Introducing positive reinforcements in children could help instill awareness and interest about oral health from an early age which would encourage individuals at a later point in life to seek help if and when encountered with dental anxiety or phobia. Overcoming dentophobia could help go a long way in improving the quality of life by facilitating proper oral care.

Hurry up! Join the Medical Internship 3.0 at MedBound!

Dentophobia, also termed as Odontophobia, is an extreme, irrational fear of dentists, dental clinics and dental treatments. People with this phobia are generally opposed to the idea of visiting the dentist even if they are in visible pain or have a deteriorating dental health.
Doctors Performed Vasectomy on Unmarried Youth Suffering from Hydrocele in Bihar
logo
Medbound
www.medboundtimes.com