Is Dental Fear Real?


If you engage 10 people in a conversation about going to the dentist, it is highly likely that most of them will say that they have some level of fear about dental exams. The question is, to what degree are people genuinely afraid of the dentist versus people who just get the chills when they are in the dentist’s chair? Is an involuntary phobia of going to the dentist a real thing that affects people?

Dental Phobia

In the clinical world, researchers loved to put the tag “phobia” along with whatever it is people fear. In this case, dental phobia is a real thing and it can affect up to two out of every 10 people. That means that two of those 10 people you talked to about fearing the dentist have an actual, involuntary aversion to dental appointments.

What Are The Symptoms?

Dental phobia is potentially one of the most fascinating mental conditions to study. The vast majority of people who have it know that it is irrational, but yet they have a hard time fighting it. A person with dental phobia could be stricken motionless with fear by simply driving past a dentist’s office. Even encountering their dentist in a neutral place like a grocery store can make the sufferer rigid and possibly nauseous with fear.

The Problem With Dental Phobia

In the majority of cases, people with dental phobia will only agree to a dental visit if they are in extreme pain or bleeding profusely from the gums. Even in these situations, they sometimes have to be sedated just to have the dentist look at them.

By the time a dental condition reaches the point of pain or severe bleeding, it is already extremely serious. It is critically important for everyone to go to their dentist twice a year. By avoiding those types of appointments, people with dental phobia are inviting potentially critical medical issues.

Solving The Problem

Solving dental phobia starts with a heart-to-heart talk with your Shrewsbury dentist. There are dentists who understand the importance of conquering dental phobia, and have methods to help clients make those bi-yearly appointments. Your Shrewsbury dentist cannot help you with your dental phobia until you let them know it exists.

If you have a dentist that does not help with dental phobia, then you might want to consider finding a dentist who does. It is very important that your dentist be an integral part in helping you cope with your phobia.

Dental phobia occurs for a variety of reasons. Some people are so terrified of needles that the mere thought of going to the dentist makes them palpitate with fear. In other cases, the idea of feeling pain can cause a serious aversion to a potential dental patient.

You will find that your caring Shrewsbury dentist has solutions to help you get past dental phobia and get to your appointments. Sedation dentistry is a method where the patient is given a mild sedative before the appointment and can be given the option of being fully sedated during the appointment. There are options you can explore to prevent your dental phobia from creating serious medical issues.