What is the dentophobia? Can we overcome the fear of a dentist?
What is the dentophobia?
Iwona Ciepliśka: Dentophobia a panick-struck fear of dental procedures. Similarly to any other phobia, i.e. claustrophobia or acrophobia it is a mental disorder.The symptoms are: very strong excitement, sweating, tachyrhythmia, increased peristalsis. Patients who suffer from dentophobia avoid dentists and when pain of a tooth appears, they prefer to take painkillers for weeks rather then get rid of the problem during one appointment. They lead their teeth to total destruction and the chronic inflammation influences the health of the whole organism. A vicious circle of a panick-struck fear and then embarrassment of teeth state appears.
HOW ABOUT STATISCTICS?
46% of Polish are afraid of a dentist and only 13% of six-year-olds have healthy teeth. That is why we, dentists, press on both fight with decay and with the fear. We cant treat the disease effectively only when we know its reasons. Among 60% of patients the reason for fear is pain and bad childhood or previous appointments experiences. Another 36% claim that the main reason inappropriate dentist’s approach. Other discomfort reasons are the sounds of bur heard in the waiting room, specific smell of the surgery and even the fact of waiting for an appointment.
DO A LOT OF SUCH PEOPLE VISIT PRIMADENT?
We have many patients that have overcome their fear with us, both children and adults who used to come to the surgery with their spouses so as not to run away from the door. Since October this year we have a new residence which interiors are designed with singular diligence and patient’s comfort care, both while waiting for an appointment and during the procedure. To guarantee our patients the highest stress reduction, besides making appointments on specific hours it is important to provide a good atmosphere at the entry. A smiling receptionist’s face, appropriate music, a pleasant smell, a waiting room’s décor, a comfortable equipment, total isolation from the sound from a surgery are the main factors that we use to distract patients’ attention from the main reason of an appointment.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH CHILDREN’S FEAR?
Unfortunately, children take the fear from their parents who before their appointment announce loudly: ‘I’m going ti the dentist’s today. I’m so afraid…’. We teach our patients who are parents an appropriate approach before the first appointment so that going to the dentist’s will not arouse negative emotions, just like going shopping with mum. We encourage children to come to the surgery with their parents as companions. Then they are our little assistants, they give rolls, pump saliva, stiffen the filling, they look at the ill parent’s teeth with oral cameras. They get used to the sound of dental devices and to surgery smell, and, what is the most important, they their parent to whom nothing bad happens and nothing hurts them. After such an introduction a child is ready to show their own teeth usually during the next appointment. What is more, we have developed “The first appointment” programme. It is a game created for children that allows them to learn about a dental equipment by using “children’s terminology” and it provides an easier communication between children and dentists. In the waiting room there is a corner for children with educational games and toys.
HOW DOES THE MODERN DENTISTRY DEAL WITH THE PAIN DURING PROCEDURES?
The main message of the modern dentistry is “a dentistry without stress and pain”. By using advanced technologies anaesthesia application can be absolutely painless. Anaesthesia applied by a computer, needles as thin as hair, flavoured gels applied on the gums are the standards available in many modern surgeries.
ARE THERE ANY PATIENTS WHO CHOOSE ONLY TREATMENT WITH GENERAL ANAESTHESIA?
Currently, we often use the so called inhalation sedation. Breathing the mix of oxygen and nitrous oxide provides a patient with calmness and pleasant relaxation with reactions and consciousness preservation. After the procedure several minutes of breathing the oxygen a patient regains their comfort.
YOU HAVE MENTIONED THAT A STRONG STRESS CAUSING FACTOR IS ALSO A FEAR FOR A DENTIST’S APPROACH TO THE PATIENT AND TREATMENT.
IN THE PERSUIT OF MODERNITY the patient is still the most important. With the whole team we have built our patients’ confidence for 20 years and we try to establish mainly genuine and friendly relation that break barriers and fear more effectively than any medicaments. We do not judge. The bigger the problem we face and ITS FORTUNATE END is, the greater success WE ACHIEVE TOGETHER.