8 Reasons People Fear The Dentist

Being scared of going to the dentist is a very common fear. In fact, as much as 80% of the adult population experience some degree of anxiety during dental visits. There are many reasons people fear the dentist, and they include some of the following.

A Bad Experience As A Child

Bad dental experience as a child can develop into a fear of dentists for life. This is probably the most common reason for people to 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 they have gum disease which can be the 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 are just waiting for the pain to start.

Embarrassment Can Cause People To Fear 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 take care of 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 get worse. A simple cavity can become a root canal if it is left untreated for too long.

Fear Of Needles

Lots of people are not so afraid of the dentist, but they fear having an injection. They may be afraid of the pain of having an injection, or they may not like the feeling of being 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.

A boy who refuses to open his mouth due to a fear of the dentist

Dental Drill

The sound of 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 quite overwhelming for many people.

Gagging Or Choking

Dental visits often involve lots of water which has a tendency to trickle down the back of your throat, making you feel like you going to choke. People with a strong gag reflex often avoid going to the dentist for fear that they may gag.

Smell Of A Dental Clinic

All the cleaning products used at the dentist have a very distinct smell which can cause anxiety before people even enter the dental surgery.

Being Out Of Control

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


These are just some fears that 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 that you 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!