Dental Phobia and Anxiety

Dentophobia is a type of anxiety that causes people to avoid dental visits. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including negative personal experiences and exposure to media portrayals of dentistry.


Fortunately, there are many ways to manage and overcome dentophobia. The most effective treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy and relaxation techniques.

Fear of needles

Dental patients with needle phobia often suffer from anxiety, which can cause them to avoid treatment. This can lead to a host of health problems, including untreated tooth decay and gum disease. Many dentists are now trained to deal with patients with needle phobia and can offer services such as sedation to help make them feel comfortable. However, it is important that dentists understand the fear and don’t trivialise it.

Previous studies have found that needle fear is a significant problem in children with dental anxiety. Themes that were identified include the desire for control of healthcare interventions, the impact on relationships with parents and healthcare professionals, and the importance of trust.

These fears are very real for many children, and they can have serious consequences for their dental health. A case in point is that of eight-year old Sophie Walker from Cornwall, who developed a severe fear of having her teeth cleaned and died from starvation as a result. It is therefore crucial that children who experience these feelings are not left to endure dental phobia for long periods of time.

A number of interventions can be used to alleviate fear of needles, including systematic desensitisation, relaxation techniques and hypnotherapy. A pain-free needle is also available, which can reduce the sensation of injections for some patients. In addition, dentists should use their best judgment when recommending treatment to ensure that patients are treated in the most suitable way for them.

Fear of pain

The fear of pain is an important cause of dental anxiety. The fear can be caused by a number of factors, including past negative experiences. It can also be triggered by certain mental health conditions. Regardless of the underlying cause, it is important to recognize the signs of dental anxiety so you can seek treatment.

In some cases, the phobia can be so severe that it stops people from seeking medical help. This is called a phobia of the mouth, and it can be extremely dangerous. In the worst cases, it can lead to starvation. In one of the most extreme cases, an eight-year-old girl from Cornwall developed a phobia of opening her mouth, and she died from starvation as a result.

Symptoms of a dental phobia include vomiting, gagging, crying, and insomnia. It is essential to find a dentist who understands and sympathizes with your fears. You can do this by asking friends and family for recommendations.

People who avoid the dentist often develop gum disease, tooth loss, and other problems. They also have a higher risk of heart disease and lung infections. In addition, they are more likely to suffer from cosmetic issues, such as discolorations and chips on their teeth. In many cases, this is because they don’t brush and floss their teeth regularly.

Fear of the dentist

People who have extreme fear of going to the dentist can experience other negative symptoms, including anxiety and depression. Their social life may be affected, and they may even find it difficult to get certain jobs. If these symptoms persist, they may be diagnosed with a pathologic form of anxiety or phobia, which requires psychiatric consultation. A common treatment is to use breathing strategies and techniques to control anxiety. Other treatments include hypnosis and medications.

Dental fear, also known as odontophobia, is an extremely common condition that affects many people worldwide. This anxiety causes people to avoid visiting the dentist and delay or cancel treatments. In severe cases, this can result in poor oral health and even medical problems. The fear can be caused by a variety of factors, including a traumatic past experience and anxiety about pain.

The first step in overcoming this fear is to understand that it is irrational. Most people who have anxiety about dentistry are aware that their fears are not based on fact, but they struggle to overcome them without help. It is not uncommon for dentists to see patients who have avoided treatment for years, resulting in gum disease, loose teeth, and other health issues. It is also not uncommon for patients to attempt self-treatment, such as securing loose teeth with superglue, in an effort to avoid facing their fear.

Fear of being embarrassed

Embarrassment is a powerful and complex emotion that can cause people to withdraw from social interactions. The fear of embarrassment can lead to avoidance of dental treatment and can even have deadly consequences. Several studies have shown that individuals with severe dental anxiety often have poor oral health. The condition can result in painful or untreated teeth, and may be associated with other problems such as depression or cardiovascular disease.

Research has shown that dental anxiety is influenced by past negative experiences and personal traits. For example, those who have a high verbal intelligence tend to experience less dental anxiety. In addition, dental anxiety is associated with neuroticism and extraversion. The former involves a tendency to feel self-conscious and fearful of ridicule, while the latter involves a desire for excitement and assertiveness.

Dental phobia is also related to previous traumatic dental experiences. The most common traumatic dental experience is having to lie in the dentist chair, but it can also be a result of other traumatic events such as being bullied or sexual assault. Moreover, it is believed that these experiences can be learned through vicarious learning from parents or siblings.

Many of these traumatic experiences occur in childhood, and can have a lasting effect on the individual’s dental anxiety and behavior. Fortunately, the anxiety can be overcome through various interventions such as systematic desensitization, hypnosis, and modeling.