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Who's Most Afraid of the Dentist?

By May 14, 2012

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Who's most afraid of the dentist?

According to new research, it's not the who you'd most expect. It's women in their 40s. Ongoing research from the University of Sydney suggests that this demographic is more likely than other age groups to have felt trauma, abuse or oro-facial trauma. These people are also more likely to be depressed, anxious or stressed, researchers found.

"Dental anxiety is very real and complex and it should never be downplayed," study researcher Dr. Avanti Karve, of the University of Sydney Faculty of Dentistry, said in a statement.

Karve explained that people who have a great fear of the dentist wait 17 days, on average, to make an appointment to see the dentist when they are feeling severe pain. Comparatively, the rest of the population who is not as dentalphobic waits just three days. According to a recent study out of the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, about 5 percent of people have a severe dental fear. Those researchers found five strategies that people use to get over their fear of the dentist; their findings are published in the journal Acta Odontologica Scandinavica.

Their study showed that common coping practices include distracting yourself (counting to yourself or playing mental games so that you think about something else), distancing (telling yourself the pain feels like something else), prayer (praying that the dental treatment will end soon), self-efficacy (telling yourself to be strong), and optimism (telling yourself that everything will be OK after the dental treatment).

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Comments
May 19, 2012 at 5:29 am
(1) George says:

I’ve recently read a post related to dental fear on http://www.not-yet-a-dentist.com/2012/04/dental-phobia.html You might find it interesting

May 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm
(2) Dental Imaging says:

I don’t think people are half as scarred as they used to be, Modern dentistry has come on leaps and bounds

May 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm
(3) Z says:

Fear of seeing the dentist is no longer the #1 reason for avoiding visits.

it’s money, and I bet fear is more socioeconomic than anything actually.

the less preventative visits people have the more often they end up coming in with toothaches… so what does that mean? extractions or root canals… and thus they never get any “good” experiences at the dentist and thus fear is generated.

June 2, 2012 at 11:25 am
(4) Lora Dodge says:

I absolutely agree with you on! This is a constant cycle that I see with my patients as well. The nightmare dental stories of people who only have “bad” experiences at the dentist, often is because the only time they go to the dentist is when they are in pain. It is an unfortunate series of events that I too believe is caused in part to lack of dental insurance and not having the money to see the dentist regularly!

Thanks for your input!

May 23, 2012 at 12:34 am
(5) Marielaina Perrone DDS says:

Dental phobia is very very real. Economics always plays a role in good and bad times. I have had many patients over the years who were multi millionaires and they neglected their oral hygiene for years because of fear. But once we were able to get them to move past it they become our best patients.

May 30, 2012 at 8:00 am
(6) Dental Repair says:

Nice post, even I am women and I really scared of repairing my dentures.

June 11, 2012 at 8:56 am
(7) Robert Smith says:

I found great post at http://www.freedentistfinder.com/articles/72/Lavender-Soothes-Dental-Patients.html that a lavender oil scent were less anxious about the dental treatment. Isn’t that a great news. So now ask your dentist if he will use some lavender oil to help soothe your dental anxiety.

June 11, 2012 at 8:58 am
(8) Robert Smith says:

I found great news at http://www.freedentistfinder.com/articles/72/Lavender-Soothes-Dental-Patients.html that a lavender oil scent were less anxious about the dental treatment. Isn’t that a great news. So now ask your dentist if he will use some lavender oil to help soothe your dental anxiety.

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