Study Shows Dental Phobia May Be a Learned Behavior
April has been named National Anxiety Month, and one of the most common sources of anxiety in America is visiting the dentist. For many adults, dental fear causes sweaty palms and cancelled appointments, and the terror may be contagious. Delta Dental recently conducted a nationwide survey that revealed a clear link between parents’ and kids’ dental fear. The percentage of parents who reported being afraid to see the dentist closely matched the percentage of kids aged 12 and under who have the same fear. It’s no coincidence; experts believe that parents may be passing their dental phobia down to their children.
Impressionable young minds can soak up dental fear and negativity like a sponge. Dental phobia in children can easily develop if parents show obvious signs of distress when it’s time for their own dental treatment. To avoid passing their dental phobia along to the next generation, parents should take steps to manage their own fears, and try to keep a positive tone when discussing dental visits with children. Staying calm and relaxed at their own dental appointments can help parents demonstrate that dentists are friends, and dental care can be painless. To avoid creating undue apprehension, a dental appointment should be treated no differently than any other routine wellness check-up.
Dental professionals employ a number of techniques to help combat dental fear. Some dentists place televisions or DVD players in their treatment rooms. Many dentists will allow patients to bring in their own electronic devices to use during treatment. Wearing headphones can help soothe a fear of dentist drills. Patients who suffer from severe dental phobia should talk to their dentist about their concerns. In many cases, dental fear in adults can be effectively managed with conscious sedation methods, behavioral therapy, and relaxation techniques.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Thorndale, call Gentle Dental of Thorndale today at (610) 590-1798 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Thorndale. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Thorndale, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Thorndale.