Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Fear The Dentist

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Are you afraid of going to the dentist? You’re in great company if so – around a quarter of all people in the country are scared of dental appointments. There are plenty of reasons why – the noise of the drill, the poking about with sharp pieces of metal, and the fear of painful operations. But, are those fears justified?

The truth is, no; they are not. And, when you consider that fear is keeping a lot of people from having regular check-ups, the consequences can be severe. As a mother of young children, I like to think that I instill positive feelings about trips to the dentists, but I’m sure that all mothers do the same. So, where do all those fears come from? And is there anything we can do about it?

I thought I would spend some time looking at some of the simple reasons why no-one should be afraid of dental surgeries in this country. So, if you or anyone in your family avoids treatment on their teeth through fear, read on. With a little luck, I might just persuade you otherwise.

It’s treatable

First of all, most fears are irrational, and many of them can be treated. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps people who are afraid of spiders, flying and anything else you can think of. So, there’s no reason a few trips to your local therapist can’t help you deal with your phobias about the dentist, either. Think seriously about it if you want to make a positive change in your life. If you are suffering from pain, or are ashamed of the state your teeth have gotten into, you need to get help. And, if there are mental barriers in your way, you will continue to suffer.

More modern

We are leaps and bounds away from the 60s and 70s when dental treatment was a lot more daunting. Perhaps this is where most of those fears have come from. People who were children in those days who have grown up with feeling the dentist is something of a ghoulish figure. In fact, I can remember a lot of TV shows, movies, and books from around this period that painted tips to the dentist as the ultimate scare. Maybe it’s no surprise that so many people these days still have negative feelings? But, these days it is a different story. It’s a much gentler experience than it was in those days – from the waiting room all the way through to the longer procedures.

Friendlier dentists

The image of the gruff and unfriendly dentist is long gone. And, in fact, those types of dentists don’t tend to last long, as their patients will soon go elsewhere! As more people have become aware they have more choice; it’s important for dentists to be as friendly as they can. Or, to be frank, they will risk losing their businesses.

Painless procedures

The vast majority of dental treatments are painless. They can still be a little uncomfortable, of course. But, this isn’t the same as pain, and the benefits far outweigh the pain you will suffer if you don’t look after your teeth. Let’s take one if the most infamous treatments out there for many years – root canal. I can honestly say that there are five or six people I know that would turn pale at just hearing those words – even though they have never had one! Yes, it’s likely to be uncomfortable, but as we mentioned before, it isn’t likely to be too painful. Take a look here for a good example of the root canal experience –


Of course, if you are nervous, your dentist may allow you to have some gas and air. It’s a similar procedure to the one that women have during childbirth, and it can help relax you and ease anxiety. It normally takes place before a procedure, and most people take it through a nosepiece. For those that suffer from extreme nerves, an intravenous injection is given. If you can’t get over your fears, then sedation might be something worth talking about to your dentist.

The cost

There is one fear that we all have about the dentist, regardless of whether we are pain sensitive or not: the sheer cost! Let’s take that root canal procedure again as an example. It’s a big operation to carry out and involves highly skilled work – and that comes at an enormous cost. It would be a big ask for the vast majority of families to fork out that amount, as many just won’t have that amount of cash lying around in their savings. So, make sure that you have a dental plan in place – for you and your family. Take a look here and you can see some of the costs involved – It makes sense to cover yourself with a small monthly payment to avoid losing a lot of money in one hit, right?

The ideas behind dental procedures

When you think of the ways that we use to describe hard or painful things to do, they can often involve the phrase ‘pulling teeth.’ And it’s this kind of idea that lurks around in people’s heads. The thought that they would go to a dentist and spend hours with a knee on their chest, and the terrible struggle to have their teeth pulled out. The truth is somewhat different. Ask any dentist and they will tell you the same thing – pulling teeth is easy. So, forget about the old tropes and sayings you might hear, because most of them are outdated and irrelevant theses days.

It rubs off on your kids

As a parent, you have a responsibility to set an example for your children. They pick up on every little thing, and all those little fears that you have and show in front of the kids will rub off on them, too. So, if you scream when you see a spider, there’s every chance your young ones will develop the same irrational fear. And, when you panic about your dental appointment or show fear when you take them for a checkup, they will begin to do the same. In fact, it’s parent’s fear that is most likely the reason so many people are still scared stiff of having a dental checkup. So, even if you do have fears, you will need to deal with them – or at least, not show them – when you have children. If you do, there is a good chance they will have the same, and suffer from potential problems with their teeth later on down the line.

It’s only going to get worse

Lots of people haven’t been to the dentist for years, know they have lots of cavities, and still won’t go. This is peculiar, to say the least. Because, once you start getting cavities, they won’t just stop and move on to somebody else. They stick around, get bigger, and cause more problems until you fix them. I know it can be tough to deal with a fear of the dentist, and it is a genuine condition – called dentophobia. But, unless you can conquer your fear, you will go through years of pain. Not only that, but your teeth will look horrendous, and you will feel bad about yourself until you treat them. Get help if you need it, because it’s only going to get worse.

Danger of x-rays

Fear of x-rays – or radiophobia – is another genuine condition that might stop you from going to the dentist. X-rays are part and parcel of dental checkups and are a great way of finding out if you have problems before they get too serious. Of course, they can be dangerous, due to the radiation. But, how dangerous, exactly? The facts are that if you go out and spend an hour in the sun, your body will be exposed to more radiation than you will from a normal dental x-ray. So, don’t let your fears get in the way of good dental health, and get help for your radiophobia from your doctor or therapist.

It’s good for your general health

Another important point to make is that your dental health has a direct link to other areas of your body, such as your heart. Ask anyone who has heart problems and they will tell you that you have to get a sign-off from your dentist before undergoing any major surgery. Gum disease and infections can eventually travel down to your heart, and cause infections in there – which can lead to heart disease. So, for the sake of your overall health, please do anything you can to get help for your fears!

Your dentist wants to help

Finally, it’s important to remember that the person you are afraid of only wants to help you. It won’t be like that scene from Marathon Man when Dustin Hoffman receives a special kind of treatment from Laurence Olivier. A successful procedure that is pain-free, quick, and easy for the patient means that the patient will come again. And, they will also recommend the dentist to family and friends. It makes no sense that a professional will actively seek to cause you pain, regardless of how scary and torturous their instruments look.


  1. This is all great information. I don’t enjoy the dentist and holding my mouth open for that long, but I know it’s something I need to do so my teeth issues don’t lead to more serious problems. I just brush and floss twice a day, or brush after every meal so that I don’t have issues.

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