Dr.Krishna Prasad Sreedhar
In modern times no body can
avoid a visit to a Dentist. However, many fear a visit to
Dentists as all kinds of pain and uncomfortable experiences are
anticipated. Some people have intense fear and avoid going to a
Dentist until emergency forces them to go. These people, who out
of fear cannot even entertain the thought of visiting a Dentist,
are suffering from Dental phobia. A phobia is an
intense irrational fear of normal or innocent situation, object
People who have Dental
phobia cannot visit a Dentist. This then becomes a serious
health problem of the oral cavity.
It is estimated that children
and women are the worst hit by Dental Phobia. It has been found
that at least 25% of people of all civilized countries are highly
tensed up about visiting a Dentist. They do risk their oral
In India, a study by Rao,
Sequeire and Peter (1997) tried to determine the prevalence and
characteristics of dental fear among 304 college students. They
found that feeling tense was the most frequently reported
difficulty. Among the dental situations, the needle and the drill
were the most fear-provoking agents. About 51% of the students
reported some fear of dentistry with females more fearful than
males and dental students more fearful than medical students.
This study also suggested that family and friends could influence
Among the rural people the
percentage may be certainly less than 51%, as they may not know
the complications. Nevertheless, it is likely to be around 25%,
which is also a sizable number.
As oral hygiene is important it
is necessary that fear of dentistry be dispelled with. People
should visit a Dentist if oral condition demands a visit.
Psychologists could be of great
help in this context as they treat fear, anxiety and phobia
successfully. Psychologists have a number of techniques with
which they can reduce fear and anxiety of any nature. It has been
found that training in Relaxation followed by graded
visualization of the dreaded situation under relaxation
(Systematic Desensitization) has been of invaluable help to
people with phobias.
People who suffer from Dental
Phobia can be helped in big way by training them to undergo
Relaxation and Visualization's of the Dentists chair
and the medical activities that follow.
Thus if you are afraid of
visiting a Dentist, why dont you undergo a Relaxation
training by Psychologists? It has been observed that patients who
undergo training by Psychologists have less bleeding, need less
anesthesia, less medication and are more cooperative and happier