It’s very rare to find a person who actually enjoys going to the dentist. Everyone knows that preventive and restorative dental care is necessary, but people are still afraid of going to a dental clinic, especially children. However, for some people, their aversion is so great that it starts to become an actual psychological condition.
What is Dental Phobia?
Dental phobia, also known as odontophobia, dentophobia, dental fear, dental anxiety, and dentist phobia, is a psychological condition that causes irrational fear of dentists or anything related to dentistry in general. Even mild anxiety or dislike can lead to a full-blown fear until he or she starts to experience dental phobia.
Several factors may trigger dental fear, such as seeing dental instruments (especially those that has big needles) and hearing the tools in action, such as drills. The strong scent of a dental compound, such as bleach and eugenol, can also fuel the fear since patients often link these sensory responses to previous negative dental experiences.
Causes of Dental Phobia
The development of dental fear may be traced back to several possible reasons. The most common ones include:
- Past traumatic dental experiences
- A history of abuse outside of dentistry may also trigger dental phobia
- Parents or guardians who are also afraid of dentists can pass that fear to their children
- Lack of control or feeling helpless when visiting a dentist
Dental Phobia Treatments
Dealing with dental phobia is hard enough. So, what more if it involves kids? Sometimes, a child’s fear can be so irrational that they can bring it with them until they become adults. Dealing with children requires more patience and expertise. An experienced children’s dentist knows this, and they are trained to handle such cases.
To beat the fear, parents can bring their kids to meet the dentist for some pretreatment conditioning. Kids can use this time to familiarize themselves with the dental office and get to know the dentist. During this time, the dentist can give them as much information about dental care and its importance to their oral hygiene. Most pediatric dentists offer a small treat to children who have completed treatment.
The success of easing a child’s fear largely depends on the support parents give them, as well as the dentist himself. At Pediatric Dental Specialists in Chandler, all the children’s dentist are highly trained when it comes to dealing with children and how to ease their fears.