What to Do if Your Husband is Avoiding the Dentist

It is natural for children to want to avoid the dentist — buzzing drills and having to sit still are not quite selling points. Unfortunately, this feeling of dread is often shared by full-grown adults, including your husband.

The fear of sitting in a dentist chair can be very real for some individuals. Unpleasant memories from childhood or past painful dental procedures can all contribute to avoidance of the dentist. This fear is mostly harmless until it stops someone from getting the dental care they need.

The first step in helping your husband overcome his phobia of the dentist is understanding where this apprehension is coming from.

Phobia vs. anxiety

Many people struggle with dental anxiety, but there is a big difference between dental anxiety and dental phobia.

If someone has anxiety, they have a sense of dread surrounding an appointment. But phobias are much more intense —unless these people are forced to go into the dentist due to unbearable pain, they avoid it at all costs.

Look for these signs to recognize dental phobia in your husband:

  • Trouble sleeping before a dental appointment
  • An intense feeling of dread surrounding the dentist
  • Physical symptoms of stress when in a dentist office, including sweating and crying
  • Extreme avoidance of the subject
  • Feelings of panic when sitting in the dentist chair

Although people with a dental phobia might realize these feelings are irrational, they often cannot cope with them on their own. The best thing for you to do is let them know you support them. When this is not enough, you can try seeing a therapist to help them work through deeper issues.

Causes of dental anxiety and phobia

There are many reasons why dental anxiety or phobia might present in an adult. There are also many ways to help someone overcome these fears.

Fear of pain

Fear of pain is one that is universally shared. It is hard for those with dental anxiety to justify going to see the dentist if they know the appointment will cause them pain. Thankfully, advancements in modern dentistry have made it so patients are more comfortable than ever. Procedures today are virtually pain-free thanks to local anesthetics.

Fear of needles and injections

A common phobia, terror when it comes to needles is widely recognized. One reason why someone may fear injections is anxiety relating to the medication being administered incorrectly, or the anesthetics not working properly. This can play back into the fear of pain.

Loss of control

You can feel quite helpless when sitting in the dentist’s chair, especially if you do not know what is being done to your teeth. One tactic to deal with this fear is to communicate with your dentist throughout every step of the procedure. Have a signal ready for when you need to take a break, such as raising your hand.

Bottom line

If your husband is avoiding the dentist at all costs, he may be suffering from some form of dental anxiety. You can help him cope by offering your support and going with him to an appointment.

However, it is also completely possible that your husband is avoiding the dentist simply because it is inconvenient. If this is the case, encourage him to make an appointment, or, book an appointment for him.

Request an appointment here: https://www.healthysmilesfamilydentistryllc.com or call Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry LLC at (706) 713-5286 for an appointment in our LaGrange office.

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