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Why Are People Afraid of the Dentist?

Posted June 01, 2021 in Fear of the Dentist

3 Minute Read: 

Do you feel nervous before going to the dentist? Do you find it difficult to get on the phone and make that much-needed appointment? 

If going to the dentist sends your body in panic mode, you are not alone. Many people have dentophobia, more commonly known as the fear of dentists. However, it is important not to let your fear keep you from getting the care you need. 

Scared patient sitting in the dental chair while the dentist is trying to examine her.

Here are the top five reasons people are afraid of going to the dentist: 

1. Misinformation 

Many people fear the dentist due to common misconceptions. 

Many people imagine specific dental procedures, such as root canals or extractions, as being very painful. While this may have been true many years ago, new technology and anesthesia can make your trips to the dentist painless and even comfortable. 

Additionally, some kids grow up hearing language from their parents that make them fear the dentist. Some parents jokingly threaten to take their children to the dentist when they are misbehaving, while some say that their kid’s teeth will fall out if they do not brush them. 

While we should be highlighting the importance of proper oral health, there is a way to do it without instilling fear. 

These kinds of comments can resonate with your kids, making them think the dentist is a scary place. There are many ways to make your children excited about visiting the dentist.

2. Past Experiences

Negative experiences in our past can make us fearful of anything. 

Many people have had traumatic experiences growing up that cause them to avoid the dentist. However, despite your fear, going to the dentist is still very important. 

If your past experiences have instilled negative emotions, please talk to your dentist. Share your story and feelings with them. They will work to make you as comfortable as possible so you can still get the dental care you need

3. Fear of the Needle

Many adults and children are fearful of needles. This fear can be significantly heightened when the needle is going inside your mouth.

 Local anesthesia administered through injection is crucial in offering you a pain-free, comfortable dental experience. 

To relieve the sting of the needle, many dentists rub a numbing gel onto your gums first. With this gel, many patients report not even feeling the needle. 

4. Fear of the Sounds 

When you walk into a dentist’s office, you often hear many sounds, such as drills, beeping, and sometimes even kids crying. 

If the sounds of the dentist’s office make you feel uncomfortable, please consider wearing headphones. Most dentists do not mind if you wear your headphones during your entire checkup or procedure. 

We want you to feel as comfortable as possible to ensure you are visiting us regularly.

5. General Anxiety 

Patients who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder may have a harder time at the dentist than others. These people may benefit from bringing someone with them to the appointment to keep them calm or undergoing sedation dentistry

At Gentle Care Dentistry, we make accommodations to make every patient feel safe and comfortable. Read How Can I Overcome My Fear of the Dentist? for tips on how you can reduce dental anxiety and regain control of your dental health.

Interested in Learning More? 

To learn more about managing your dental anxiety or making an appointment, please call Gentle Care Dentistry in Las Cruces, New Mexico, at (575) 524-3722 or fill out our online contact form