How to overcome dentophobia?

woman in dental chair scared of dentist

Unfortunately, many people experience declining hygiene and oral health due to fear of visiting the dentist. This fear often results in these individuals avoiding necessary dental treatments and procedures for improving or maintaining oral health. In cases where dental anxiety is severe and causes an irrational fear of dentist visits, it is classified as dental phobia. If you have dentophobia, please continue reading to learn some tips that may help you overcome your fears, and contact our compassionate general dentistry/dentists located in Basking Ridge & Morristown, NJ, who can help you improve your dental health. 

What is dentophobia?

Firstly, a phobia is an anxiety disorder where an individual has an irrational and excessive fear of something that is not inherently dangerous. Dentophobia, also known as odontophobia, is a specific type of phobia where a person is terrified of going to the dentist and receiving treatments. People with dentophobia often feel overwhelmed and anxious about the prospect of visiting a dentist for their oral health needs. Their fear can be so extreme that they will not seek the help of dentists even when they are in pain. Unfortunately, this condition can lead to poor dental health.

It is critical to note that a fear of dental treatment is not exactly classified as dentophobia. This is primarily because those with a severe fear of receiving dental treatment or a procedure, despite their fears, will still visit their dentists to remedy the issue at hand. However, those with dentophobia will avoid their dentists for treatment at all costs because of their fear of the dentist.

How can I cope with this condition?

Although it can be challenging to overcome dentophobia, there are ways to cope with your condition and various tips that can help you stay calm during your appointment. Firstly, you should try to schedule your appointment at a less busy time. Visiting the dentists when fewer people are there during the morning hours means there will be less noise from other patients and dental tools being used that could trigger your anxiety. Visiting in the morning will also ensure you do not have to worry about your appointment all day. Further, since dental tools often make loud noises, you may find it helpful to bring noise-canceling headphones or earbuds that allow you to listen to music, as they can help soothe your nerves.

Additionally, asking a friend or loved one to accompany you during your appointment is beneficial, as they can hold your hand and reassure you that everything will be ok. Having someone you trust with you through the process can help alleviate some of your anxieties. Practicing meditation and relaxation techniques, such as taking deep breaths, can be helpful in calming your nerves. Finally, it would be best to ask your dentists about sedation options. Sedation can help you relax while receiving necessary dental treatments and procedures.

If you have dentophobia, contact a trusted dentist from Dental Associates of Basking Ridge who can help you overcome your fears of going to the dentist to improve or maintain your oral health.

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