If the prospect of a trip to the dentist fills you with dread, enough to stop you from having your teeth cleaned or filling in that suspected cavity, don’t worry – because you’re not alone! Many people, children and adults alike, carry an irrational fear of visiting their dentists, even for their annual cleaning. This is referred to as dentophobia or odontophobia, and more than 60% of all dental patients have been found to have it, even those that visit us – and that’s the amazing part. Despite the anxiety and stress, our patients visit our clinic knowing they’re being treated by professionals that see a lot of dentophobia and help them deal with it.
Should You Be Concerned About Your Dentophobia?
Yes, but only if your dentophobia is stopping you from having the treatment that you need. Our primary dentist in UAE, Dr. Yasmin, recommends that patients proactively try and overcome their fear of the dentist to ensure their health is not negatively impacted.
Dentophobia, while seemingly harmless in the short run, can lead to serious oral health complications if allowed to persist. In a majority of cases, the phobia inevitably leads to skipping dentist visits for prolonged periods of time and the dental health of patients suffers as a result. Lack of routine dental care results in increased susceptibility to gum disease, tooth decay, cavities, etc., all of which worsen over time and if left untreated can amount to costly dental treatments later on.
Patients with dentophobia, therefore, only delay their trip to the dentist and ultimately have to face their fears when their dental health deteriorates at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, this also just makes visiting the dentist feel that little bit harder than it already is.
FACT: Our dental clinic in UAE is determined to combat dentophobia and help patients overcome their fears.
Causes and Types of Dentophobia
The first step to dealing with your dentophobia is to understand why it happens and pinpoint the type of dentophobia you have. Let us walk you through the different causes of dentophobia first:
- Negative past experiences with dentists is the main cause of dentophobia. Children are more prone to developing an extreme fear of dentists after a bad experience and this fear carries on in their adult life. myPediaclinic’s dental team at our leading dental clinic in UAE strives to make sure that every patient we welcome in our clinic receives a warm, smooth, and joyful experience. We make sure you and your children have no traumatic experiences that can lead to dentophobia.
- Dentophobia is sometimes also caused by a fear of noises made by dental tools. In this case, thinking about these tools can trigger dentophobia. Our tools are state-of-the-art and our staff are pediatric specialists ensuring your child’s experience is tailored to their unique developmental needs.
Dentophobia can manifest in different ways, including:
- Fear of the dental practice entails a fear of the experience of going to the dentist. In this case, the patient fears the sights, the sounds, and the smells that they encounter at the dentist’s office.
- Fear of the dentist is another type of dentophobia that entails a fear of the person who will be administering the dental procedures i.e. the dentist themselves.
- Fear of pain experienced during dental procedures is also a type of dentophobia. In this case, patients expect to suffer pain during their visit to the dentist. This is often unfounded and irrational which classifies this fear as dentophobia.
- Fear of needles is prevalent in many medical patients and those that carry this fear often fear coming in contact with needles at the dentist as well.
- Fear of gagging is a type of dentophobia wherein the patient struggles with a fear of choking. They want to avoid having their mouths open for a prolonged period of time and do not want something inserted in their mouths.
We Specialize in Treating Patients with Dentophobia
Regardless of the type or cause of dentophobia, it needs to be treated promptly and the secret to overcoming dentophobia is for dentists and patients to work together. At myPediaclinic take our responsibility of helping patients feel safe and comfortable during their visit to our dental clinic in Dubai very seriously. Our team, led by Dr. Yasmin, on of UAE’s leading dentists, is always hard at work to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for you during your visits. Our family dentist works with you to understand your fears and aversions and implement the right solutions that ensure a stress-free experience for you.
There are also different ways in which you can alleviate your dentophobia and make your trips to the dentist comfortable. We recommend the following:
- Book an initial consultation: You don’t have to jump into dental treatments right away. You can first schedule a consultation with the dentist to discuss what treatments might be required, see the facility and have any questions answered. Tell your dentist about any fears you or your child have and work with them to find the best way to cope with them. Because we’re in it together!
- Bring a family member along: Having a family member or even a friend by your side during your dental visit can provide you with comfort and put you at ease.
- Signal your doctor: You can also work out a signal with your dentist to notify them if you are in discomfort at any time during the treatment.
- Listen to music or watch YouTube: Yes, you can bring your headphones and listen to your favorite music or watch something as you lay back and relax.
- Be vulnerable: Similar to other phobias, the key to overcoming dentophobia completely is to open yourself up to the experience. You can start with making general visits to our dental clinic without receiving treatment. Familiarize yourself with the environment. Then build up the frequency and start coming in for minor procedures and dental exams. An ‘exposure therapy’ of sorts, this has proven beneficial to a lot of our patients.
We know that dentophobia can be tough to deal with, but trust us, you can overcome it with myPediaclinic at your side! Call us [INSERT CONTACT HYPERLINK] for an appointment at our dental clinic in Dubai today to wave goodbye to dentophobia (and hello to amazing oral health).