The worst enemy of those suffering from a toothache is not physical, but psychological; it’s called dental fear. Although this form of anxiety is as old as time, the phantom of phobia to dentists still haunts patients of all ages until today.
While many sedation techniques are now available to make a dental procedure relatively comfortable, you can’t help but wonder why this monster continues to lurk in this day and age.
Fear Maintains Fear
A study from the University of Adelaide offers a logical explanation. The researchers found out that dental fear is the very product of the fear itself. It makes sense because if you’re afraid to go to the dentist, you’re more likely to delay the treatment that you’re supposed to receive immediately. You hope for the pain to go away and for the problem to resolve on its own; this, however, doesn’t always happen. Your condition only worsens and then would require a more extensive treatment, which might be more painful.
Social Factors Come into Play
The dental professionals at Strand Dental Centre share that the patient’s background might be the root of dental fear. A research from the University of Gothenburg revealed that children and adolescents suffering from a severe case of this anxiety came from poor families. They had lesser leisure times and were financially-challenged. The patients with dental phobia commonly have had sessions with a psychologist.
Passed on by the Parents
The patient’s parents play a major role in the transmission of dental fear from one family member to another. A study showed the father acts as a mediator when it comes to the passing of the mother’s personal dental anxiety to the children. The researchers concluded that the greater the level of fear one member has, the higher the level in the rest of the family.
Dental fear is paralysing and contagious. Unless you take the initiative to seek ways to overcome it with a dentist, you’re going to end up suffering more along with your loved ones.