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Dental fear is the cause of many dental problems

Hardly anyone likes going to the dentist. This rollercoaster of emotions can vary from person to person and is pronounced to different degrees. From a guilty conscience, to a sinking feeling in the stomach, to panic attacks with vomiting and racing heart, everything is represented when a visit to the dentist is imminent. Often, however, it is not the doctor himself that one is afraid of, but the treatment. Triggers can be the expected pain, the injection, the instruments or the fear of the diagnosis and the resulting possibly unpleasant treatment. Only in the special case when one does not like the doctor as a person or is afraid of him or her directly is it referred to as dental fear. In general, however, the fear relates to the treatment and is called dental anxiety.
When the dentist triggers anxiety

A certain fear of visiting the dentist is familiar to many people. But what are the symptoms that can tell you that it is actually a pathological fear of the dentist (dental phobia)?

Various studies show that only a small proportion of people go to a dental treatment without fear. A large proportion go with mild to moderate anxiety and some suffer from outright dental phobia. People with dental phobia cancel dental appointments at short notice or they keep delaying the appointments. Some sufferers only go to the dentist when the discomfort has become unbearable. Thus, urgently needed dental treatment is postponed, the dental problems become bigger and the treatment becomes more and more expensive. Unfortunately, this has fatal consequences for the entire organism, the heart can be damaged and eventually one will lose some or even all teeth. The associated problems with a full denture are well known.

Dental anxiety - a phobia or just a mental carousel?

In psychology, a "phobia" is an exaggerated dental fear that occurs frequently and is long-lasting, as well as affecting personal lifestyle. Those affected often develop avoidance behaviour to avoid the fear-inducing situations. This creates the vicious cycle that leads from minor tooth decay, tooth bleeding and tooth pain to tooth loss and secondary diseases. In dental phobia, the sufferer avoids going to dental treatment.

The reasons for this are most often extremely bad, traumatic experiences in childhood or later in life. The social environment can also be involved through a negative role model function, as well as a guilty conscience or mortification when the doctor "reprimands" the patient. The affected person usually recognises the consequences of his behaviour, the deteriorating condition of oral hygiene and possible pain, but can only be persuaded to visit the dentist by very high suffering pressure or pressure from the social environment. Now, high follow-up costs due to implants and dentures are usually the logical consequence.

You are an anxiety patient?

Our new quick test gives good indications and is quite easy to carry out.

Just answer the following questions - completely anonymously, of course. Please be honest with yourself. Only you will benefit from it.

This self-test for dental anxiety does not replace a professional examination and diagnosis. For this, please consult a specially trained dentist, a psychotherapist or another qualified diagnostician.

  Dental anxiety test for anxiety patients
yes partly no
1. I feel nervous and insecure at the thought of going to the dentist?
2. I do everything to avoid going to the dentist. Even painkillers are part of it?
3. I am ashamed of my bad teeth, the treatment of which I keep postponing also because of this - a vicious circle?
4. I have panic attacks and sweats at the thought of going to the dentist?
5. I am afraid of something being discovered and high costs coming my way?
6. My arms and legs are shaking and my heart is racing?
7. I suffer from headache, neck pain, back pain, tinnitus or migraine?
8. The smell of the dentist's office is enough to trigger the fears?
9. The sounds of the drill trigger the fears?
10. I have indigestion, get stomach cramps and throw up?
11. I get diarrhoea and have to go to the toilet often?
12. My hands get wet and I sweat a lot?
13. I have trouble sleeping to the point of nightmares at the thought of going to the dentist?
If you answer two questions clearly with yes or more than 4 with part/part, your fear of dental treatment is already so severe that you should consider going to a specially trained specialist.

Breaking the vicious cycle of dental anxiety

If you answered the test honestly, this is already a great first step towards your new dental health. You actually already know that it can't go on like this. And you are not alone. Estimates suggest that one in two people suffer from at least mild dental anxiety.

The only question is: Do we let our mind win out or does the pressure of suffering have to become overwhelming first.

. For those affected, dental anxiety is anything but trivial. But research in this field shows that there are increasingly better and more successful treatment options and many dentists have recognised this immense problem and are taking action.

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