Last updated on March 14th, 2023
A recent survey done by Elsevier shows that dental fear is highly prevalent in adults worldwide. Especially women tend to have a higher and more prevalent dental fear compared to men. It is also stated that dental fear leads to avoidance of dentist visits and thus worse oral health.
Before jumping to the reasons for dental fear and ways to overcome it, we should differentiate between dental anxiety, dental fear, and dental phobia. Dental anxiety is the reaction that you show when the procedure involves a sort of uncertainty in the patient. Patients with dental anxiety usually cannot describe what they are scared of exactly. However, dental fear is more specific. You can describe the point(s) that you fear. Dental phobia is the strongest case of all in which you strictly avoid treatment until you get unbearable pain or discomfort with your teeth.
Although many people think that they are injections or drills that create the problem, there are many other factors that make people reconsider having dental treatment nowadays. Especially as dental treatment abroad is becoming a more common option, patients tend to have novel problems but novel solutions, too.
In this post, you will read 5 reasons for dental fear and corresponding solutions to tackle them. The term dental fear is purposefully selected for the sake of simplicity to cover the terms dental anxiety, dental fear, and dental phobia.
5 Challenges & 5 Solutions for Dental Fear
Quite a lot of people plan to have dental treatment, but they just delay that due to dental fear at different scales. As a result, they are scared to go to a dentist, and their dental problem gets bigger. Although increasing treatment and cosmetic dentistry abroad options have resulted in new opportunities, new challenges have also emerged. Let’s take a look at 5 common challenges that patients take on.
1. I Don’t Know About The Procedure
Some patients think that dental experts are only interested in their job, and they don’t care much about the patient’s understanding of the procedure. Patients assume that dentists avoid discussing the details, possibly because the issue is too complicated to explain to an ordinary person. A patient naturally thinks that it is his/her mouth, but he/she has no idea what is going to happen there, and they are scared of the dentist.
Many patients cannot overcome this communication problem since they have very limited things to do in such cases. Thus, they end up with dental fear. Fortunately, dentists are more eager to communicate than before. The technology allows the dentist and the patient to discuss the treatment using clear visuals and projections before starting the procedure.
2. I Am Not Sure If I Can Cover The Expenses
Dental treatment, especially cosmetic dentistry procedures, is too expensive in many countries like the U.K. and the U.S., and many people cannot afford proper treatment. Therefore, it needs good financial planning for a patient to begin a dental procedure. Any last-minute change might cost above the budget, and the possibility of such an unpleasant surprise creates another new-generation dental fear for millions of people.
However, we have good news for you. First, treatment procedures are much more common globally, and cost/quality rates are more settled. Thus, you can easily learn about the options and compare the prices. Secondly, you can send some information about yourself, including photos of your teeth, to the other side of the world and you can get an exact quotation for your treatment. Thus, as you see, treatment abroad stands as an excellent solution to budget-based dental fear.
3. I Can’t Know If The Dentist Is Competent Enough
Dentists – including all branches of dentistry- are supposed to be qualified and highly competent in their job. Though it is the expectation from any professional, it matters even more regarding dental health. Unfortunately, not all dentists can provide you with the same high-quality treatment. Therefore, you should do good research before deciding on a clinic or dentist for nervous patients like yourself.
If this makes up a remarkable portion of your dental fear, you are lucky. Today, you can access valuable information like testimonials and before-after photos with the click of a button on the internet. You can even have video calls with dentists in other countries so that you can feel more comfortable and ease your dental phobia.
4. I’m Anxious About Ending Up With A Cookie-Cutter Smile
Patients with dental problems have some common issues like missing or worn teeth, discoloration, decay…etc. Although the problems sound common across the patients, the treatments should involve some sort of personalization. In this way, each patient will have his/her characteristic smile at the end of the procedure. Unfortunately, some patients tend to mimic a celebrity smile that seems lifeless or weird to them rather than getting a customized natural smile and usually regret that later. Therefore, being worried about a cookie-cutter smile is understandable.
Luckily, you can customize your smile design with your dentist using state-of-the-art technology today. However, although it is technically possible nowadays, some dentists or clinics may not be so willing to collaborate with you. So, you should seek a dentist or clinic that is eager to discuss your treatment and smile improvement before getting the procedure started.
5. I’m Anxious About My Daily Life During The Treatment Period
Many patients complain that it takes ages to make an appointment, and once the treatment begins, the laboratory procedures take several weeks or even months. In addition, some clinics outsource the job partially or entirely in laboratories in other cities or countries. It means the patients may have to minimize the function of their teeth and/or mouth. They can hardly eat food and have great difficulty speaking if they are supposed to spend toothless days in some cases. So it is not surprising that they are afraid of dentists.
However, many clinics and dental professionals also suffer from this problem, and they tend to have in-house labs today. Once they plan your treatment or smile design, it takes less than a week to get your treatment completed in many cases. This is an awesome improvement to relieve your dental fear and anxiety.
Fear of dental treatment is a common problem for many patients. People with dental fear aren’t necessarily scared of the dentist’s chair, but they are scared of the dentist due to some peripheral issues. Nonetheless, there are smart alternatives if they consider any treatment or cosmetic dentistry abroad.
We advise you to consider cosmetic dentistry in Turkey. There are excellent dental clinics offering high-quality service and affordable prices, such as Maltepe Dental Clinic. It will ease your cosmetic dentistry experience financially and psychologically.