If your patient is afraid of needles, here is what you should do. 

How to help dental patients who are afraid of needles

How to help dental patients who are afraid of needles


OMG Admin

August 25,2021

Extreme dental phobia can stem from multiple things like a bad experience, the fear of feeling pain or needles. Finding the source of your patient’s dental anxiety can help you in making them feel more comfortable. This week, our team will break down how you can identify dental patients who are afraid of needles, how you can help them, and why you need to take oral sedation seminars.

The fear of needles. 

When it comes to decreasing the fear of needles, there are two medical terms commonly used. First, Aichmophobia is the term often used to describe the fear of sharp objects like needles. People with this fear are afraid of cutting or stabbing themselves. 

Not everyone who is afraid of needles has this fear; they could also suffer from trypanophobia. This condition refers to the fear of medical procedures. People with this fear are afraid of injections or procedures involving needles. 

What causes the fear of needles?

Reports show that up to 25 percent of adults are afraid of needles. The cause of this fear varies among individuals. Some people develop this fear due to a traumatic event in their childhood that involved a medical procedure. While for others, this fear is passed down from family members. Research has found that phobias are passed down genetically. 

Signs your dental patient is afraid of needles

Now that you know about the fear of needles, it is time to learn how to recognize it. Not all dental patients who visit your office will be vocal about their fear. That is why it is important to recognize the signs. Here are some signs your dental patient is afraid of needles

  • Nausea

  • Dizziness

  • Sweeting

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Increased blood pressure 

  • Panic attack 

How you can help dental patients who are afraid of needles


Keep instruments away from sight.

Dental patients are very observant when they walk into the office. If you know your patient is afraid of needles, keep equipment away from sight. By keeping sharp objects away from view, your dental patient can feel more relaxed. 


Avoid triggering terms.

Another way to help dental patients with a fear of needles is by avoiding triggering words. You do not want to use words that will cause them to get scared and tense up, so avoid using terms like “sharp,” “pain” or “needles.


Offer oral sedation.

One way that you can reduce their extreme dental phobia or anxiety is by offering oral sedation. This kind of sedation is taken in the form of a prescribed medication which is ideal for those with a fear of needles. Oral sedation helps patients by reducing the anxiety they might feel. 

It is important to remember that to offer this kind of sedation, you need to keep up with recertification, and this may require taking oral sedation seminars. Be sure to find an approved educator. 

Join our oral sedation seminars! 

At Midwest Sedation Consultants, we offer oral sedation recertification courses online. These classes have been reviewed and approved by the State Board of Dentistry. Our courses are approved in Nebraska, Kansas, Oregon, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. Register for a course now!