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Modern technology ‘helps with dentist phobias’

Posted by Allie Wright

Modern technology can play a part for those who have a phobia of going to see their dentist.

Dr Jenny Pinder, a dentist who treats phobic patients at the Bupa dental centre in London, stated a fear of choking on dental instruments is especially common among men.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, she explained some people have a phobia of going to the dentist that is so strong they let their teeth rot.

“By the time I see them they have only stumps left. This not only looks unsightly but it leads to chronic bad breath,” the expert was quoted as saying by the news provider.

Professor Tim Newton, a psychologist who helps run an NHS clinic dealing with the problem at Guy’s Hospital, stated that a lot of people living with dental phobias are affected by chronic pain and constant painful tooth infections.

“The seeds of the phobia can be sown at a young age – a trip to the dentist for a child involves a big person standing over them doing something not very nice and so the fear starts to develop,” he said.

One such individual who had a severe phobia of seeing a dentist was Victoria White, who became so ashamed of the state of her teeth she turned down invitations to eat out for 20 years and only overcame her fear when she developed breast cancer.

She was unable to start her chemotherapy treatment until she had been given the dental all-clear and her dentist started with just a brief clean.

Ms White wore dark glasses during the appointments so she could not see what was going on, while the dentist used modern technology to make her more comfortable.

After having four fillings, the state of Ms White’s teeth is much improved and she stated this has boosted her confidence as a result as well.

She said: “I’m accepting invitations and don’t feel restricted by my teeth. I never thought I’d be able to say: ‘I’ve just been to the dentist.’ What a difference it makes.”

Research conducted by scientists at the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid recently showed parents can pass on their fear of the dentist to their children.

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