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My daughter has developed dental phobia at the age of 5! What can I do?

My daughter became dentophobic at the age of 5 after a dentist tried to drill and fill a tooth without telling her what she was doing. She has since visited a number of dentists but is now 8 and still unable to let them do any work. She has had the injection but then lost the plot at the thought of the drill. She is able to rationalise that the treatment is needed and will be fine but then fear takes over. I am really reluctant to send her to hospital to have teeth pulled out that don’t need to be. Do you have any suggestions?

Your daughter is still too young to rationalize her responses .
Dental phobia can be a rational response to previous trauma but often there is no obvious explanation
She has done well to get to having an injection so there is something she’s afraid of after that .
I suggest you try to find a facility where Relative Analgesia (happy gas ) is available .
This might be the Community Dental Service or a children’s dept of a dental hospital
Fillings can be done this way not just extractions
However if she has deep decay , or several bad teeth sometimes it’s a better choice to get rid of bad baby teeth and concentrate on the new ones being free of decay
She may improve as she matures .hope this helps

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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