Most people who are afraid of going to the dentist cite the dental drill as one of their biggest sources of anxiety. The drill is loud, noisy, and, if the dentist slips, can be painful.

dentist drill

Recently, the Society of Chemical Industry published a study discussing a new technology for finding tooth decay in its very early stages- almost at the moment it starts.

The new technology is being developed at King's College London, and relies on using laser light to detect tooth decay. Lasers scatter light differently on teeth which have started to decay, due to the presence of bacteria on those teeth.

This laser light technology might be in widespread use in just five years from now; the researchers who are working on it are currently taking the procedure into human clinical trials.

This is good news for the 46% to 75% of the general population who suffers from dental anxiety. In fact, 6% to 14% of the population never goes to the dentist because of fear.

Fears about dental treatment are so widespread that dictionaries often include dentists as an example of something that can trigger a phobia (the fear of a particular situation or object).

Among those who do not visit dentists regularly, 90% report that the reason is dental fear. If you are nervous about going to the dentist, you're normal. Issues may include the fear of losing control, a negative past experience, fear of choking, and other concerns, including fear of the dentist's drill.

Dental anxiety and phobias typically arise from a history of bad experiences in the dentist's office and can become a source of significant avoidance, depression, and anxiety.

Most patients develop dental phobia over time, and, initially, avoid going to the dentist. Any dental problems worsen over time, making it less and less likely that the dental phobic person will ever seek out dental care.

Most often, dental phobia is best managed through a combination of several factors.

Successful treatment of dental phobia relies on good communication with your dentist, allowing yourself to be distracted, being sure that your pain is well managed, and being skilled at relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery, deep breathing, and progressive relaxation.

Many dentists now offer guided imagery and other hypnotherapeutic techniques which can help those with dental anxiety feel more comfortable and calm during their appointments.

Not sure if your dentist offers this? Luckily, this is also something you can do for yourself, using our dental phobia treatment program. Developed by Dr. Bruce Peltier, an expert in hypnosis, this program will teach you how to hypnotize yourself so you can manage your dental anxiety.

This can help you get proper dental care before your teeth get any worse.