Dental Fear – Why are Dentists so Feared?

26 Feb

Dental fear, also known as dental phobia, or dental anxiety, is the fear of dentistry and of receiving dental care.

It is estimated that as many as 75% of adults experience some degree of dental fear, ranging from mild to severe.

What causes Dental Fear?

The most common cause for people to develop dental fear is a bad experience.

Most adults report that their dental fear began after a traumatic, difficult, and/or painful dental experience.

The interesting thing we find, when speaking with our patients who have dental anxiety is that the actual painful or traumatic experience  is not exactly why they developed their actual fear of dentists.  It seems, from a lot of these conversations, that this fear actually developed as a result of their “perception” that their dentist didn’t care or was actually unsympathetic to them.

Is dental fear a result of lack of caring?

It seems to me that many of the stories that our patients share with us that resulted in their dental phobia have a “lack of caring” component.  Many people do not like to have dental treatment done but do not develop this type of fear when their dentist is perceived as “caring”, “concerned” about them, and encourages they speak up if at all uncomfortable.  It seems that it is actually the dentist’s behaviour towards their patients rather than the dental procedures that determine how a patient remembers their dental appointment.

Is there a treatment for dental fear?

Once a person develops a fear of dentists or dental treatment, it is really tough to overcome.

Often, a combination of behaviour and pharmacological techniques are utilized in order to help patients manage to get through their dental appointments with more control and less anxiety.

If you suffer from dental fear, let us know so we can help you in a way that is suited for your particular needs.


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