What Causes Dentist​ ​Anxiety​

What Causes Dentist​ ​Anxiety​

Posted by Ralph Reilly on February 20, 2018
Ralph Reilly

pexels-photo-532363.jpegIf you have ever been in a dental office you have seen someone struggling with anxiety. For some people it is anxiety but for others it can actually be a phobia. Sometimes the fear can be so overwhelming it becomes difficult to breathe and can be crippling.

So why is it that there are times we get patients in with half sleeve tattoos who are overwhelmed with anxiety to have their teeth cleaned? Why do we see people who have overcome great battles, struggle to walk through the office doors?


Here are some reasons we have seen that cause anxiety in patients:

Invasion of Personal Space ~ Let’s be honest, unless it’s our spouse or child most of us really don’t like people in our face. It is way past the invisible boundary and at times can make some people so uncomfortable it causes high anxiety.

Self-Consciousness or Embarrassment ~ Not everyone was born with a beautiful set of straight teeth and even if someone was lucky enough to, life happens. Maybe they were on some medication that caused damage to their teeth. They could have been in an accident and were never able to afford repairing chipped or damaged teeth. Things happen and many people are embarrassed about the condition of their teeth or gums.

Blind Trust ~ Did you ever play the trust game as a child? The one where you would stand on a table and fall backwards into the arms of your friends or your team? You couldn’t see where you were going but you had to trust that someone was going to catch you? There was always someone who just couldn't overcome their anxiety. That fear is real and can be crippling in some people. They can’t see what the dentist is doing to their teeth and it can be difficult to trust what you can’t see.

Loss of Control ~ Some people feel helpless or out of control in a dental chair. This can even be worse if anesthesia needs to be used due to the numbness in their mouth or tongue.

Fear of Pain ~ This is the most common cause of anxiety we see in the dental office. So many people avoid going to the dentist because anxiety can be overwhelming and paralyzing. Unfortunately, people who suffer from dental anxiety or phobias often skip important dental check ups. When this happens their conditions usually worsen and then they experience more or worse dental pain before they work up the courage to come in. The fear patients feel is very real and we will never discredit their feeling. We have a variety of ways to calm an anxious patient and modern dental techniques now allow us to deliver many treatments nearly pain free!

If you suffer from dental anxiety give our office a call today and we will get you setup with a consult to go over dental treatment options with you.


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