Dental Pain and Phobia

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Dental Pain and Phobia

What is it?
A phobia is an intense, irrational fear which gives sufferer an overwhelming desire to avoid the cause of their fear. The symptoms may cause a raised heartbeat, sweating and a very strong desire to flee from the cause at any cost. Many people dislike visiting the dentist, associating it with pain, extreme discomfort and facial disfigurement through tooth loss. Until this century, a fear of the dentist was a fear probably well founded as, until anaesthetics came into general use, teeth would be extracted, drilled and filled without the benefit of any pain relief. However, dental technology and medical knowledge has improved greatly in the past 20 years and today it is possible for many treatments to be carried out with little or no pain. Despite these developments, some people remain extremely afraid of the dentist, so much so that they develop a phobia about going. Dental phobias are not at all uncommon, affecting both children and adults alike. Today, however, there are a number of methods of pain relief, both orthodox and complementary, and follow up treatment which will ease any post-dental discomfort.

When to seek further professional advice
To overcome a phobia it is recommended that you see a psychiatrist. It is very important to make regular visits to your dentist.

Alternative Treatment

Autogenic Training: Pain can be reduced by relaxation and attitude. Phobias can be addressed because autogenic training generally reduces anxiety. Special formulae can be used in the exercise to help relaxation during treatment. Some exercises can be used in the dental chair, which increase tolerance to the treatment.
Auricular Therapy: Rubbing specific points on the ear with a match stick can relieve pain temporarily.
Kinesiology: Specific techniques will be applied to relieve any specific pain and phobias. Regular balancing will also be undertaken.
Other Therapies include: Bach Flower Remedies, Homeopathy, Hellerwork, Acupressure, and Shiatsu, Reflexology, Spiritual Healing, Chinese Herbalism and Hypnotherapy.

Traditional Treatment

For dental treatment, local anaesthetics and gas and air may be used to prevent discomfort. Teeth may be extracted under general anaesthetic, especially wisdom teeth. The drills used to remove decayed teeth are now much more sophisticated and make much less noise- a feature many patients found upsetting. For those with dental phobia, a doctor or dentist may suggest behavioral therapy or psychotherapy. It may take a while to overcome the fear, so interim treatment may be with drugs to calm the patient prior to visiting the dentist and afterwards if trauma has been experienced. Ask your doctor to recommend a dentist who specializes in treating patients with a fear of the dentist.

The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.

Author - Body and Mind

Published - 2013-01-21