Dental Fear, Where Does It Come From?
Fear is an in built mechanism of survival that keeps us away from harm’s way and danger. It is a sense that has saved the human race from extinction. However fearing everything is unhealthy and unwise. Although fear helps us away from danger but so does courage. Courage is one’s ability to overcome fear. There has to be a right balance between the two to grow as a person and as a race.
There is something you shouldn’t be afraid of and maintaining a dental hygiene is one of them. There are millions of people around the globe who avoid dental care due to fear or anxiety. One has to overcome this fear and to do that we have to first understand where the fear come from and what’s causing this fear.
Personal experiences are the major source of developing fear especially if you experience a certain fear during your child hood. Child hood memories have a strong influence on one personality whether good or bad. If someone has had a bad experience with a dentist in his /her child hood it most likely he/she would have developed a fear of going to the dentist again.
Courage comes from various factors; some are within a person and other influenced by other. If you have had to undergo a dental procedure which was uncomfortable but the dentist who performed the procedure was kind, caring and gentle then it would be easier for you to visit a dentist again known that the dentists are empathic. Care and gentle behavior helps us regardless of age, if someone treats us well i.e. comforts us then it is easier to listen to that person.
People tend not to go to places they have had bad /unpleasant interactions at. Especially if you have had a bad experience at a health care facility you would avoid going to any health care facility at all. This would affect your oral health as well as you wouldn’t want to go to a dentist. Some people develop a distaste of the overall ambiance of hospitals i.e. the sterile clothing and smell. All of us are familiar with a certain smell we call the smell of hospitals. People avoid going to hospitals due to the general ambiance as well. Some people have had an uncomfortable experience in a health care facility during their child hood like while receiving an immunization and would avoid going to a dentist so they don’t have to uncomfortable experience again.
Everyone like to be in control
Nobody like to feel they are out of control, a good dentist makes you feel you are in control at all times even though he is performing the procedure. Maintaining a good conversation and showing a caring attitude makes people feel relaxed, the simple surety that the dentist will listen to what you are saying helps people relaxed during the dental procedures.
Unrealistic stories and media portrayals
Over the years there have been many TV shows and cartoons that portray dental clinics as places of horror. Although people do understand they are unreal but subconsciously they develop a certain fear which results in to anxiety and you avoid going to a dentist. It is also human nature that you share a good experience with 5 people and share a bad experience with 10. If you have heard stories of bad experiences people have had over the year with dentist you would certainly not like to undergo the same. However one should understand that these stories might also be over exaggerating and untrue. Meeting a reputable dentist you can trust helps you get rid of these fears.