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What do people hate most about visiting the dentist? By Gary Kajanka

posted Feb 10, 2015, 8:50 AM by Gary Kijanka   [ updated Jun 12, 2015, 8:50 AM ]

The research states that people’s fear of the dentists –also backed up by our own experiences with patients often stems from a negative experience as a child. Whether it was an uncomfortable extraction or striking a nerve, often people associate a trip to the dentist as pain inflicting when this is normally not the case. Because of past perceptions or fears these people may not visit the dentist for years. When they do there’s usually more work to be done, which can be more costly and this is more uncomfortable for the patient than if they had regular checkups. This then reinforces their negative perception of visiting the dental and some of their anxieties.  

A study found that there are a small number of the population – around 5 percent – who avoid the dentist completely due to a severe dental phobia.   The fear stems from a fear of the unknown, the perceived pain of the procedure, and fact people feel like they have little control in the dentist’s chair.  

Others feel instinctively wary of the metal equipment and the noise they make, associating them with inflicting pain which cause a ‘fight or flight’ response. The truth is that there are a number of pain management options to reduce most, if not all discomfort caused by more intensive procedures and the vast majority of procedures that dentists carry out cause little to no pain. There’s also the fact that people’s love of sharing a good horror story about their teeth does little reduce the anxieties of those already nervous about visiting the dentist.  

The good news is that people’s fears about the dentist don’t match the reality of what people can expect visiting to the dentist in 2015. Still, we understand that many people still feel anxious and fortunately there are a number of techniques people can use to make the necessary trip to the dentist a lot more pleasant.

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