What Does it Mean to Have Dental Phobia?

What Does it Mean to Have Dental Phobia?
Posted on December 20, 2018

How much do you enjoy going to the dentist?

Although getting a dental checkup isn’t a favourite thing for many of us to do, most of us don’t actually fear the visit.

But that’s not true for everyone.

For those with dental phobia, the thought of attending a dental appointment is terrifying. He/she may be so terrified that they will put up with dental pain for years to avoid going.

Wondering what to do if you or someone you know has a dental phobia? Here’s what to know about having a dental phobia along with what can be done to assist with this fear.

Dental Phobias Vary in Intensity

Dental phobia is more than anxiety. Although it’s common to have a sense of unease before a dental appointment, dental phobia is a more severe condition characterized by intense fear or dread. Those who suffer from dental phobias are generally panic-stricken at the thought of attending the dentist.

Just like no two cavities are the same, so, too are dental phobias. Dental phobias can be caused by a variety of things including a bad gag reflex, trust issues or a fear of needles. People with dental phobias also blame the fear of pain, helplessness and/or embarrassment as causes of their fear.

Some people who have dental phobia can put off routine dental visits for years or even decades. He/she may suffer incredible pain from gum infections, broken teeth and more to avoid attending a dental appointment.

Those suffering from dental phobias can experience stress-related issues in other parts of the body, such as muscle stiffness in the neck or back.

Signs and Symptoms of a Dental Phobia

Although anxiety and phobias are similar, people who have dental phobia usually experience some of the following key symptoms:

  • Problems sleeping in the days leading up to their dental appointment
  • Nervousness while waiting in the waiting room
  • Experiencing symptoms of being physically ill
  • Feelings of panic and/or difficulty breathing

Treatment for Dental Phobias

Thankfully, dental phobias can be treated.

First, sufferers should let their dentist know about their feelings, concerns and fears. Since dentists are experienced in dealing with a variety of patients, they may be able to offer a solution that makes sufferers feel more comfortable while treating the patient.

Treatments can include sedation techniques to help the patient get through their appointment. There are three types of sedation to help patients relax: inhalation, oral and intravenous.

Depending on the patient’s needs, the dentist may also give a local anesthetic to numb any pain.

A referral to a mental health professional may be helpful for those suffering from extreme cases of dental phobia.

Stoney Creek Dental Can Help You with Your Dental Phobia

Stoney Creek Dental’s team of dental professionals are highly experienced in helping people living with dental phobia. Don’t allow your dental phobia to prevent you from maintaining proper oral hygiene. Contact our office today to discuss your dental phobia needs.

"I have been going to Stoney Creek Dental for the past 12 years and can't say enough about how professional and polite the entire staff is! I am always welcomed with a smile from the front line staff, even if it was an emergency appointment they would always accomodate me. I am really impressed with the new location and think the decor was done with perfection! Thank-you" - Matteo Cocomazzi

Read More

"My family and I have been going to Stoney Creek Dental for over 15 years. All of the office staff is friendly and courteous. I love that they offer evening appointments to accommodate the working family. The team is professional and I know that they always put my families health as a priority. The hygienists are great with kids and make them comfortable and relaxed, my daughter actually asks, “when are we going back to the dentist?” I have complete confidence with Dr. Park and his team for all of our dental needs." - Denise A

Read More

"Our family, as well as other family members have been with Stoney Creek Dental for many years. Besides giving us the best dental care available, the atmosphere in this office is just wonderful. We always feel special as soon as we walk in the door. You never have that sense of hurry up, or wanting to rush out of the office when your procedure is done. The Doctors and staff at Stoney Creek Dental office make you feel comfortable and at home. We love coming in and chatting with everyone. Thanks for being my Dental Care Friends. :)" - Dave and Diane Bozich

Read More