What is Dental Anxiety?

Do you feel fearful at the thought of going to the dentist? Do you get scared even thinking about entering the waiting room? Then it’s likely that you’re suffering from dental anxiety.


Most people don’t relish the idea of going for their check up. However, for some it can be a terrifying thought. Around 50% of people don’t attend regular dental check ups and roughly 25% of people suffer from dental anxiety. Its a lot more common than you may think.

Why do people fear the dentist?

Most people who have dental anxiety have a specific reason for it. It can spring from any number of issues. Did you have a bad experience at the dentist when you were young? You may already suffer from anxiety disorders or even PTSD. Victims of abuse are often very uncomfortable with how close a dentist need to be to treat their teeth.


While a bad personal experience is the most commonly cited reason for fear of the dentist, all of the other issues come down to the same thing – fear of not being in control. When the dentist has his or her hands in your mouth, you can’t even really say if something is wrong. For many, that sparks feelings of anxiety. However, dentists are working hard to change the perception of the oral care industry. 


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What treatments help with dental fear?

Seeing your dentist is very important to the health of your teeth and your overall health. What are some of the ways that dentists are encouraging fearful patients to get back in the chair for important cleanings and checkups?

New Technology – New technology is making the dental experience far better. Patients may experience little to no pain at all, even if there is a problem that needs to be corrected. Cleanings are often performed with ultrasonic solutions and actual scaling with metal tools is kept to a minimum.


Sedation Dentistry – You only need to be coherent enough to get in the chair and agree to any procedures that are necessary. Then you can be giving anything from pharmacological agents that keep you relaxed to ones that ensure you barely remember being in the chair at all. Sedation methods include everything from topical numbing agents to complete sedation.

The fact is that even if you had a bad experience in the past, going to the dentist is very different than it used to be. Patients can now benefit from new technologies, sedation and therapy to help them overcome their fears. Dental anxiety is common and nobody should feel like they cannot fight it.

You may be interested in listening to an MP3 from Dr Mike Gow which allows you to float into a mindful state and is designed to help with general stress. Click here for more details.

Where can I find a dentist to help with my fear?

Click the link below and select a location near you. Using the ‘Advanced Search’ scroll down and select ‘Dental Anxiety’. This will give you a list of nearby dentists who specialise in treating nervous patients.

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