Research suggests that up to 40% of the folks who avoid dentists do so out of fear. The root cause could be a bad childhood experience or part of a defined anxiety disorder. No matter. This group further divides into those that will find a sedation dental service when pain drives them to it and those folks that wish to forego medications.
The medication group has it easier for care in that the sedation medications will usually permit one appointment completion of the dental treatments. On the down side, they do not have a means to cope with their fear and anxiety, so the cycle of avoidance and catastrophic intervention repeats.
Management of the fear and anxiety requires coping skills which usually involve psychological methods. Sometimes these may have to be augmented by medications, but ultimately self mastery may be reached without them.
These skills are generally the domain of psychologists and psychologically oriented dentists. Thus, you have to find a clinician that is sympathetic to you.
Some folks find this difficult. The reasons are unimportant, but the outcome is the desire to help themselves. Do-It-Yourself is laudable. With the right resources to hand, this approach can be quite successful. But, herein is the problem. Where and how does one find the right resources?
It’s an interesting conundrum; look up the correct spelling of a word if you do not know how to spell it. The parallel to this, is how do you evaluate information if you do not have background in the subject? So who or what do you trust?
Years past you would go and see a ‘specialist’ in the subject or spent hours in the library. Today the internet has made this easier, but it also has greater risks. The page you visit may not be from a credible source. The ‘likes’ and ‘recommendations’ may be self-serving from within the organization, how do you know?
We have searched the Web for good quality and credible information. We limited the search to web sites and books. To filter the pages we went with academic sites and information sites that were not commercially affiliated to attempt to minimize bias or a perceived conflict of interest. That is not to imply that the other sites may not be good material. Rather it simplifies an overwhelming task. As of this writing the search on Google yields 11 million hits for dental fear alone.
We also consciously left out audio recordings. There is just too much in the way of audio material to realistically search through it.
Our findings can be seen on our You Tube channel under Dental Fear Anxiety Phobia DIY Help.
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