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A 34-year-old female asked:

How common are dental phobias? can they be traced to unpleasant childhood experiences @ the dentist's office? best ways to overcome these phobias?

4 doctor answers15 doctors weighed in
Dr. Behram Dalal
Dentistry 31 years experience
Quite common: Find a doctor who is caring and will take the time to put you at ease. Sadly in this world of managed care where clinicians are compelled to see many patients in a day to barely break even, that is hard to find. Bad childhood experiences can also contribute to the phobia. Sometimes it's also fear of the unknown. Dentistry can be quite painless, so find yourself a good dentist - ask friends.
Dr. Meng Syn
Dr. Meng Synanswered
Dentistry 38 years experience
There are many: It not uncommon to trace dental phobias to an especially traumatic dental experience. There are many ways to treat fearful patients with sedation and general anesthesia however they do not address the underlying fear reduction. My best advise would be to find a dentist that is willing to work with you, at a comfortable pace, through education and pain free prevention lowering your fear.
Dr. Leonard Pizzolatto
General Practice 41 years experience
Fairly common: Dental phobias can result from many different factors. Past experiences, personality of the person, and or the psychological makeup. Most of the time these phobias can be handled by finding a dentist who can communicate very well with the patient. Also mild anti-anxiety medications can go a long way in relaxing a someone for dental treatment.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Orthodontics 53 years experience
Too common: Find a gentle caring dentist who is willing to take the time to help you overcome your anxiety. See apsychiatrist to help you find the cause of your phobias and help you manage them. There's no pill you can take, no button to push, no instant gratification. Expect it to take time to resolve problems that have been growing over the years.

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Last updated Nov 27, 2017

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