Dentophobia can be divided into several different elements. Most people with this fear probably worry about more than one of these elements, while those with severe dentophobia may fear all or most elements simultaneously.
- The Dentist – Like doctors, IRS auditors and others in commonly feared professions, “The Dentist” is often cast as cold and unfeeling at best, or sadistic at worst. If you have had a negative personal experience with a particular dentist, you may be more prone to this phobia.
- Pain – Until relatively recently, completely painless dentistry was difficult or impossible. Even today, some procedures may involve a slight amount of pain. Many people are extremely sensitive to mouth pain, and fear that the pain may be excruciating.
- Numbness or Gagging – Some people, particularly those who have experienced choking or difficulty breathing, are afraid of having their mouths numbed. You might worry that you will be unable to breathe or swallow.
- Sounds and Smells – Many people, particularly those who have had previous bad experiences with dentists, are afraid of the sounds and smells of a dentist’s office, particularly the sound of the drill.
- Needles – If you have needle phobia, you might be extremely afraid of the injections that dentists use to numb the mouth