8 Reasons People Fear The Dentist

8 Reasons People Fear The Dentist

Being scared of going to the dentist is a widespread fear. As much as 80% of adults experience anxiety during dental visits. There are many reasons people fear the dentist, including some of the following.

A Bad Experience As A Child

Most people have memories of a bad childhood experience that still affects them today. For many, it’s fear of the dentist. Going to the dentist can be an uncomfortable experience for adults and children. But why is it that many adults are so afraid of the dentist? It could be because they had a traumatic experience in their childhood that has caused them to resent going to the dentist ever since.

Childhood dental visits can be pretty intimidating; bright lights, strange tools, and loud noises all contribute to feelings of nervousness or anxiety in young patients. It is not uncommon for children to remember these experiences long after they have left the dentist’s office and feel anxious about returning for future visits. These negative experiences can cause people to develop an irrational fear or phobia about going back, which often persists into

Bad dental experience as a child can develop into a fear of dentists for life. This is probably the most common reason people fear going to the dentist.

Fear Of Pain

Just having a clean done can be painful for many people, and one of the reasons they avoid going to the dentist. Some people have extremely sensitive teeth or have gum disease, which can be a source of pain when having your teeth scaled and polished. The thought of possibly feeling pain during a dental visit is usually worse than the pain itself. People get anxious and work themselves up because they wait for the pain to start.

There are various ways to help manage a fear of pain at the dentist, such as deep breathing exercises, visualization techniques, and distraction techniques. Communicate with your dentist about any fears or concerns you may have so that they can work with you to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

Embarrassment Can Cause People To Fear The Dentist

The fear of embarrassment often invades our minds and can stop us from doing what we need to do. It’s an emotion many people are all too familiar with, especially when going to the dentist.

Many people avoid the dentist because they are embarrassed about the look of their teeth. They may fear being judged on how well they care for their teeth. It may sound like a cliche, but you can be sure that your dentist has seen much worse teeth than yours. Avoiding the dentist due to embarrassment will only allow more time for dental problems to worsen. A simple cavity can become a root canal if left untreated.

Nobody wants to feel embarrassed by having their teeth examined or having someone poke around in their mouths. Not only is there physical discomfort involved, but people also worry about being judged for their dental health or not knowing enough about proper dental hygiene. Even if you take excellent care of your teeth, it’s still relatively easy to feel self-conscious during a dental visit due to its nature.

Fear Of Needles

Many people are not so afraid of the dentist but fear having an injection. They may fear the pain of having an injection or not like feeling numb for hours after their appointment. Ask your dentist to use some numbing gel on your gums before so you do not feel the pinch of the needle so much.

Dental Drill

A dental drill can sound like fingernails on a chalkboard to some people. The high-pitched sound of the drill combined with the suction can be pretty overwhelming for many people. This fear can be so intense that it prevents people from getting the dental care they need, leading to further oral health problems. If you fear the dental drill, you must talk to your dentist about it. Your dentist can help you find ways to manage your fear, such as listening to music or using a topical anesthetic to reduce the sensation of the drill. Additionally, many types of drills are available, such as electric, air-driven, and ultrasonic, so you can find one that works best for you. With the right tools and support, you can get the dental care you need without fear.

Gagging Or Choking

Dental visits often involve lots of water which tend to trickle down the back of your throat, making you feel like you are going to choke. People with solid gag reflexes often avoid going to the dentist for fear that they may gag.

Smell Of A Dental Clinic

It is no secret that people fear the dentist. From the sound of drills to the smell of dental clinics, there is something about going to a dentist’s office that can send chills down your spine. But what exactly is it about the smell of a dental clinic that makes people so anxious?

Many of us have negative associations with dentist trips, which may be partly due to the strong odors associated with dental offices. Research has shown that certain smells within a dental clinic can trigger feelings of discomfort and even pain in some patients. This could be because certain odors are reminders of past uncomfortable experiences at an earlier age when we were more vulnerable.

Fortunately, modern dentists understand these fears and use products like air purifiers to reduce unpleasant scents within their clinics.

Being Out Of Control

While at the dentist, you need to put your complete trust in your dentist, which can be challenging. You’re in a position where you can’t see what’s happening and have no control over what’s being done.

Those who experience this feeling of being out of control need to take ownership and understand that they are in charge of their oral health. Taking the time to research dentists in your area and choosing one that makes you feel comfortable may prove beneficial in helping manage any fears or anxieties that arise from visiting the dentist. Taking part in preventative care, such as regular check-ups, has been known to reduce fear and fight off any future dental problems before they start.


These are just some fears people have when going to the dentist, but there are many more.  There are many ways to overcome your dental fear.  Find a dentist you trust and feel at ease with to make your dental visits more pleasant. Be sure to communicate your fear with your dentist so they can reassure you.  Scheduling appointments first thing in the morning helps so that you don’t have to think about your appointment all day, and it doesn’t give you a chance to cancel it!

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