No need to fear Geelong family dentistAugust 31, 2017
Anxiety about dentists might be in your genes
As a Geelong family dentist we’re well versed in the reasons why some clients fear dental examinations. Anxiety about needles, anticipation of pain, the thought or sound of drills, the poking and prodding, other people’s stories… there are long lists of reasons and even websites dedicated to the psychology of why the thought of a trip to the dentist provokes feelings of dread and shudders of anxiety.
Some studies have suggested phobia of dentists in Australia could be as high as 15 percent of the adult population and, unfortunately, here’s another reason why some people fear the dentist – it’s in their genes!
Researchers in the United States have turned up evidence suggesting the fear of dental treatment could be linked to a person’s genetics. That’s right, if your mum and dad, or grandpa and grandma weren’t keen on the dentist, it turns out you mightn’t be either.
It might sound a little far-fetched but a study at the West Virginia University ties together a genetic basis for the fear of pain with the likelihood of being frightened of a trip to the family dentist.
Simplified, study details which came out this month suggest the genes that can shape people’s tendency to be particularly frightened by the thought of pain can influence the likelihood they will also fear the dentist.
There’s good and bad news from the study. The bad? It’s another reason people can use for not paying sufficient attention to their oral health and another argument dentists have to try and win when convincing people that a trip to the family dentist really is quite a painless experience these days.
The good news? Hopefully the research will lead to treatments and strategies to help people overcome their fear of a regular visit to the dentist.
In the meantime, until we’ve overcome the genetics or whatever other reasons behind fear of the dentist, all we can do is encourage people to put their trust in us and be reassured there is nothing to be frightened about. As a family dentist in Geelong we’re committed to putting patients’ minds to rest. While we can’t guarantee you’ll leave your fears behind, we can guarantee we’ll do whatever we can to ensure your trip to the dentist will be as pain and anxiety-free as possible.
Contact Dentistry of Excellence, a leading Geelong family dentist, to find out how we can work with you to ease your fear of the dentist and help you and your family on the path to good oral health.