Dentist phobia: When visiting the dentist becomes impossible.
Going to the dentist is an almost insurmountable hurdle for many people. The prospect of often painful treatments with unpleasant after-effects make the visit appear less than tempting. Three out of four people suffer from the fear of the dentist, as reported by stern.de. In fact, when surveyed, most people say they think going to the dentist is the most uncomfortable visit they’ve ever had. Dental health is an important part of general well-being and should therefore receive the necessary attention. For meaning of aps in English, please visit sportingology.com.
But what to do when the fear is so great that a regular visit to the dentist becomes impossible? If routine check-ups or even necessary dental treatments are avoided out of fear, dental health can suffer greatly – and sooner or later, the overall well-being and quality of life. Anyone suffering from an acute fear of the dentist should therefore not despair but face the problem. Modern medicine has developed various ways of dealing with dental phobia.
Fear is not the same as fear
Anyone who does not like going to the dentist quickly speaks of dental fear, also known as dental phobia. The forms of fear that patients feel before treatment at the dentist are very different. Often the root of the problem can be traced back to childhood. A particularly unpleasant or painful experience is often preceded by the fear of subsequent treatment. But the aversion to the dentist’s chair is not always rational and many people avoid going to the dentist, even though they have never had a negative experience themselves.
However, the fear of the dentist varies from patient to patient, especially with regard to the intensity and the consequences that arise from it. Discomfort before visiting a dentist’s office is familiar to many people. However, this does not always mean fear, and most patients nevertheless regularly overcome their aversion in order to have their teeth receive the recommended routine examinations and necessary treatments.
On the other hand, experts speak of a real dental phobia when the fear becomes so great that the patient is no longer able to cope with a routine or even a necessary visit to the dentist. They put up with severe pain themselves in order not to have to be treated. As a result, serious problems can go undetected and lead to lasting and sometimes irreparable damage to the teeth, gums and jaw.
People who suffer from acute dental phobia usually gradually lose their quality of life due to a steadily deteriorating state of health. It is precisely then that it is important to work on oneself and on the fear of the dentist and to overcome this with the support of experts.
Overcome the fear of the dentist
Dental phobia is a common problem. In Germany alone, around 5 million people suffer from the anxiety disorder, as reported by the German Society for Dental Phobia. However, if the phobia leads to a profound avoidance behavior in which a visit to the dentist is avoided even if the symptoms are severe, there is an urgent need for action.
In this case, behavioral therapy accompanied by a psychologist is helpful, in which the anxious patient is gradually introduced to a visit to the dentist. In discussions, the cause of the fear of the dentist is first explored. A negative experience often preceded this, or the subject of the dentist was already negatively associated with childhood, for example because a parent passed on their own fear of the dentist to their children. The cause of the phobia is then compared with rational reasons for visiting the dentist, which focus on one’s own well-being and general state of health and the associated quality of life.
Only after this preparation does the actual introduction of the patient to the practice visit begin. For example, at a first appointment there can only be a consultation with the treating doctor, so that the patient can build up a relationship of trust with him and feel that his fears are being taken seriously. This is of central importance for successful anxiety therapy.
In a second step, the patient can be invited to the practice for a professional tooth cleaning, as this treatment is usually completely painless. Once the visit to the dentist has lost some of its terror, the first necessary treatments can be carried out. It is important that the patient feels comfortable and respected with the atmosphere in the practice, the treating physician and the rest of the practice staff.
Dentistry itself has also experienced enormous development over the past few decades and today offers patients advanced treatment methods that can ensure healthy teeth with little pain and work together with the patient to combat dental phobia. There are even more and more dental practices that have specialized in dealing with pain patients and patients with anxiety and whose doctors and practice staff have completed additional training and specialist training.
A new concept is treatment in special clinics that offer inpatient treatment and treatment specifically for dental patients with a strong sensitivity to pain and the associated dental phobia.
Going to the hospital for dental treatment?
It may seem strange to put up with a hospital stay just for dental work. Along with fear of the dentist, dislike of hospitals is one of the most common fears that patients describe when it comes to their health.
In some cases, however, an inpatient stay can make sense, especially for people with a severe dental phobia. If you are looking for a dentist in Hamburg, for example, you will find one of the few practices in Germany that offers its patients inpatient admission to the dental clinic in addition to a wide range of treatments in the usual outpatient way.
As a state-licensed private hospital, the dental clinic ABC Bogen has several operating theaters in which larger procedures can also be performed under general anesthesia. This guarantees a pain-free initial treatment. General anesthesia can be a sensible alternative to local anesthesia, especially for patients who are sensitive to pain or people who suffer from dental phobia, since treatment can then be carried out in a state of complete rest.
In addition, the pain-free treatment leads to a positive experience, which can also help the patient to gradually overcome their fear of visiting the dentist.