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Fear of the dentist….dental teams can help!

4 June, 2015

dentist patientThere have been several column inches in the press this week about a programme, “The truth about your teeth” that will air on BBC 1 tonight. It features a lady so afraid of going to the dentist she used super glue for over ten years to stick her broken teeth back into her mouth.

Sadly, the fear of going to the dentist (dental anxiety or dental phobia) is not uncommon, and in the most severe cases can result in people avoiding dental treatment altogether.  Denplan’s latest consumer research* revealed that 39% of patients who don’t visit their dentist regularly do so because they have a fear of the dentist or the pain they might feel. The most recent Adult Dental Health Survey of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, from 2009 also indicated that the proportion of the population characterised as being dentally phobic was in the order of 10%.**

Most dental teams are very experienced in helping nervous patients so it shouldn’t be difficult to find a team that can help anyone who feels worried about visiting the dentist.  The most important thing is to find a dentist that they can trust, feel comfortable with, and who takes the time to discuss treatment options and procedures.  Dental patients should not feel embarrassed to say that they are nervous – in fact letting the dentist know will give them a much better chance to work with them to overcome any anxiety.

If you have employees who suffer from dental anxiety, we would recommend they talk to their dental team as a first step. They will be able to talk through any procedures and discuss what can be done to make them feel more at ease.

 

*Consumer attitudes towards dental care, Denplan/YouGov survey 2015.  All figures, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 5,823 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4-9th February 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (18+) 

** Hill KD, Chadwick B, Freeman R, O’Sullivan I, Murray JJ Adult Dental Health Survey 2009: relationships between dental attendance patterns, oral health behaviour and the current barriers to dental care. British Dental Journal 2013 DOI: 10.1038/ sj.bdj.2012.1176

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