More than one in three Americans suffers from dental anxiety. So why the fear of the dentist?
People are anxious about dental visits for different reasons. Some anticipate pain. Others worry that the dentist might be rushed or neglect their concerns. Additional stressors include negative memories of past experiences or even the smell of the dental office. Even simply interrupting a daily routine to visit the dentist visit may create anxiety.
If unaddressed, dental anxiety can lead to oral health problems, which can, in turn, require more dental treatment.
One of the most important factors in overcoming dental anxiety is good communication between you and your dentist. When you feel informed and in control throughout a visit, you’re typically less anxious.
If your anxiety is preventing you from getting the care you need, you should have a frank discussion with your dentist about your fear. As health care professionals, dentists are trained to treat patients who have anxiety, and yours can suggest safe and comfortable techniques to make your dental care less stressful.
If you’re nervous about an upcoming dental visit, try these tips to curb your anxiety:
Last updated November 2021
The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.