World Mental Health Day 2017
Date: 9 October 2017 Category: Dental fear and phobias
Raising Awareness of Dental Anxiety
World Mental Health Day is observed on 10th October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.
This World Mental Health Day, we are taking the opportunity to talk about dental anxiety and dental phobia. With the support of Anxiety UK, Centre for Dentistry is campaigning to raise awareness of dental anxiety whilst providing more accessible information and encouraging those affected by dental anxiety to access appropriate support.
Mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year, but 10th October is a great day to join us, show your support for better mental health and start looking after your own wellbeing.
About Dental Anxiety and Phobia
“Dental anxiety is one of the more common specific phobias and anxiety conditions for which Anxiety UK receives numerous requests for support every year” says Nicky Lidbetter, Chief Executive at Anxiety UK.
Mild fear and anxiety before a visit to a dentist or doctor is common. It becomes a concern, however, when the fear or anxiety stops people getting the treatment they need and leaves them struggling with toothache, discomfort or dissatisfaction with the way their teeth look. This most extreme type of dental anxiety is classed as a dental phobia (also known as ‘odontophobia’).
According to statistics from the Oral Health Foundation, almost half of UK adults have a fear of the dentist, with 12% of these suffering from an extreme dental anxiety or phobia. In addition, visiting the dentist is ranked number one for making people nervous – even more popular than a fear of heights. However, as many people do not feel comfortable talking about their phobias, it is thought that these figures could be a lot higher.
The importance of oral health
Dental health is an important part of your overall wellbeing and it’s important to remember that poor oral health is not simply about toothache and decay. It has a much wider impact on general health than you may think. Research over the past decade has revealed growing evidence linking poor oral health to serious health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, problems during pregnancy and dementia.
Despite the clear links between dental health and overall wellbeing, over 50% of people don’t visit the dentist regularly and 2% of the population have never seen a dentist. Combine this with the fact that nearly half the population are unhappy with their teeth, 31% of adults have tooth decay and 29% of us suffer from regular dental pain, and there’s a real issue here.
With that in mind and so many people in Britain affected by dental anxiety and phobia, it’s really important to start talking about it and offering much-needed practical support to those with a fear of the dentist.
Here at Centre for Dentistry, we’re determined to make a difference!
New patients often say to us that they have put off going for so long as they are afraid it might be painful or because they have had a bad experience many years ago. It’s a pleasure seeing the transformation of these same patients as they work with our dentists to successfully overcome their dental fears and get back into routine dentistry. With the support of Anxiety UK, we want to raise the profile of dental anxiety in the UK and encourage people who may have been avoiding going to the dentist due to fear to seek help and take those first steps. Download our dental anxiety guide for information, tips and case studies of people who have successfully overcome their fear of the dentist.
Dr Seyed Alroyayamina, a dentist at Centre for Dentistry Brookwood, says: “Being at a place that is part of a routine, where you shop regularly, can take away that mental build-up of seeing a dentist. There is a potential for a paradigm shift in behaviour by taking the stress out of thinking about and planning to visit the dentist. Every day we get patients coming in with their bags of shopping and popping in for a check-up or a bit of treatment as it is an easy and relaxed thing to do.”
Your Next Steps
1. Download our brochure for more information and tips on dealing with dental anxiety and dental phobia >> Read our Dental Anxiety Guide to #NoMoreDentalFear
2. Call Centre for Dentistry’s dedicated helpline to talk to someone about your dental fears or worries. We’re available on 0333 1234 225 from 10am-7pm (Mon-Thurs), 10am-6pm (Fri) and 10am-4pm (Sat).
3. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Visit your local practice for a cuppa and a chat with our friendly team – you’ll find us inside Sainsbury’s.