Feeling afraid of going to the dentist is common. But some people have odontophobia – also called dental phobia or dentist phobia -, which is an anxiety disorder.
Due to this condition, many patients stop going to consultations or spend all their time inside the office apprehensive, making it difficult to carry out treatments.
Have you seen this scenario? So, read on and learn how to deal with patients who have a phobia of dentists or they are afraid of going to the dentist in sandy oregon!
How is odontophobia characterized?
For the patient who has a dentist phobia, any object or situation alluding to dentistry, even her mental representation, causes reactions such as cold sweat, feeling sick or faint, tachycardia, rapid breathing, or muscle contractions.
According to studies in the field, dentist phobia affects about 10% of the world population. It is characterized by a response of nervousness, fear, and other unpleasant reactions to everything related to dental appointments.
According to professionals, there are certainly several factors that lead the patient to suffer from dental phobia and are paradoxes. According to the dental literature, the most common origins of odontophobia are:
- Exposure to fear shown by family members or subjects in the surroundings;
- Previous unpleasant experiences, especially in childhood;
- Socioeconomic factors;
- People with mental disorders who are more afraid of dental treatments due to a lack of understanding of the process;
- Phobia of blood, pain, and wounds in general.
What can the dentist do?
The ideal is that the dental professional watches over your odontophobia patient, providing an environment of safety and comfort.
It all starts in the waiting room.
At first, the waiting room is where the nuisance begins. With the help of employees, prepare a different environment.
Offer cozy chairs, opt for a pleasant TV program, and invest in bright and cheerful colors on the walls, furniture, and decoration. However, not everything is aesthetic. A team capable of receiving people with this type of phobia is essential. Sensitizing the service softens tensions and helps in the process of “de-traumatizing” the patient.
Your relationship with the patient
Undeniably, a good dentist-patient relationship is the main tool to alleviate dentist phobia. Have the professional responsibility to be calm and patient when exposing to the patient, in a pleasant, creative, and non-threatening way, what the procedures will be.
Some details make all the difference: do not receive the patient with the exposed instruments and opt for a colorful coat. The less the environment resembles an office, the better.
Many professionals are adept at techniques such as say-show-do and ask-say-ask. If combined with proper facial expressions and body language, these techniques are crucial to alleviating the patient’s discomfort. Find out about them.
It’s not just up to you: advise therapeutic help.
There is no standardization in the intensity of odontophobia. In cases of a more severe phobia, it may be useful to recommend professional help. But do it with empathy and respect. Do not use the generic “do therapy.” Use the conversation to find out if the patient is already treating the disease.