The causes of dental phobia

by | Mar 24, 2020 | Uncategorised

Are you scared to go to the dentist? If you are, you’re not alone. Fear of dentists is called dentophobia, or sometimes simply dental phobia, and it’s very common.

Back in 2013, a team from the University of Dundee and University of St Andrews published a study in Medical Principles and Practice that found 36% of people experience fear or anxiety surrounding visits to the dentist, with 12% suffering from extreme dentophobia.

The researchers also looked into the causes of dental phobia and found that they fall into several main categories:

Direct experience

Unfortunately, some people have had a bad experience of dentists first-hand in the past. This can lead people to avoid dental treatment for many years.

But in the meantime, standards in the profession may have improved, with new techniques and procedures that are less stressful to undergo.

In either case, delaying dental treatment can lead to problems getting worse – so for the least long-term stress, it’s always better to get your teeth checked sooner.

Second-hand experience

Not all people’s fear of dentists is based on their own experience. Instead, people’s anxiety levels can increase because of scare stories they have heard from friends and family, or in the media.

Again, if you’ve delayed dental treatment for a long period of time because of these vicarious fears, you could be putting your own oral health at risk for no good reason.

You could instead book an initial consultation with a dentist so you can find out first-hand what the likely treatment will be. In many cases you might find it’s not as scary as you expected.

Personality

Surprisingly, some people appear to be genetically predisposed to high levels of anxiety about dental treatment.

Research found that among more than 2,000 twins in Sweden, the evidence supported a theory that genetics can determine who is and isn’t anxious about visiting the dentist – and the prevalence is higher among girls than boys.

Overcoming dental phobia

Whatever the cause of your dental phobia, we are here to help by giving you a clear understanding of any treatment before we proceed.

Smiles & More collaborate closely with dentists and can recommend a dentist if you don’t already have one. Together, we can make sure you get the dental treatment you need to get your mouth, teeth and gums back to good health, with new partial or complete dentures to restore your smile too. Contact your nearest denture clinic in Warrington, Widnes or Chester.