A report has found that almost 75 percent of adults have some fear of seeing a dentist. Learn why people are afraid of going to the dentist. 

Why Are People Afraid Of The Dentist?

Why Are People Afraid Of The Dentist?


OMG Admin

October 27,2021

When you think about spooky things, a dentist might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Probably a clown, zombie or Michael Myers might come to mind. However, for some people, a dentist might be the scariest thing in the world. 

People with this fear develop dental anxiety or dental phobia. A report has found that almost 75 percent of adults have some fear of seeing a dentist. This fear can pose a problem when it comes to your patients getting the necessary care they need. Our team wants to take you through why so many people are afraid of dentists and how dental sedation courses for dentists can help your patients. 

Dental anxiety vs. dental phobia

When it comes to the fear of dentists, there are two different kinds: dental anxiety and dental phobia. Dental anxiety is having a mild fear of the dentist that causes the person to feel nervous. On the other hand, dental phobia is having an extreme fear of the dentist. This kind of fear causes them to avoid the dentist overall. 

Signs of dental anxiety

Patients with dental anxiety might not be vocal about their fear of you. You will have to look at signs that indicate they have dental anxiety. Some signs your patient has dental anxiety are:

  • Jumping at dental sounds, like drills 

  • Looking nauseous 

  • Avoiding dental treatments 

  • Sweating 

  • Racing heartbeat

Why are people afraid of the dentist?

There is no single cause for why people are afraid of dentists. Everyone has a different reason for why they have this fear. Some common causes of dental anxiety include a traumatic dental experience, head or neck injuries, generalized anxiety, fear of losing control and trust issues. 

However, many people who have expressed being afraid of dentists say their fear started in childhood. A study shows that around 75 percent of adults with dental anxiety say it began after a traumatic childhood experience. Experts believe that if the first encounters with a dentist are negative or painful, that thought will continue through adulthood.

How you can help patients with dental anxiety or dental phobia

One of the best ways to help ease dental anxiety in patients is by offering minimal sedation. This kind of sedation is administered through a prescribed medication called anxiolytic. This drug is used to lessen severe anxiety disorders. It only impairs cognitive function and physical coordination in patients, so they feel more relaxed. 

Using this kind of sedation is very beneficial to dentists. It allows dentists to perform procedures, finish treatments faster, do multiple treatments at once, increase patient retention rates and so much more. However, before you start using minimal sedation in your practice, consider a few things. 

In order for dentists to offer this kind of sedation, they need to update their minimal sedation certification. Dentists must complete dental sedation courses for dentists that are approved by their state's board of dentistry. It can be completed online or in person. Once the certification has been completed, they must renew it every several years, depending on their state. 

Looking for dental sedation courses for dentists?

Visit our website. We offer minimal sedation recertification courses online. Our classes have been approved by eight states that include: Nebraska, Kansas, Oregon, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. Save your spot here!