Dental Phobia


What is dental anxiety and phobia?

There are many reasons why people are not ecstatic about going to the Dentist. Some reasons are the obvious ones and some are more complicated.

There is a difference between dental anxiety and dental phobia.

People who get very nervous about going to the Dentist and it causes some anxiety have Dental anxiety. People who are petrified of the Dentist, who will avoid going for years and will suffer through tooth aches have Dental Phobia.

What causes these reactions?

For a lot of people it was a bad experience when they were younger. Either they weren’t able to get numb enough and felt the whole filling or the discomfort from the injection itself, or they just feel uncomfortable.

As we know, having someone work in your mouth isn’t always the most comfortable thing. It seems like there are a lot of hands and instruments that in your mouth all at the same time, it can just be uncomfortable.

Sometimes people don’t like going to the Dentist or get anxiety about going because of the cost, so they put it off. Ignoring dental problems will only get worse and more costly. Staying current on preventative treatment in the long run is a lot less money and time spent in the dental chair.

Other times it can just be the noise of the instruments on the teeth or the sound of the handpieces.

What can be done to treat Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia?

There really isn’t a “cure” for dental anxiety or dental phobia, but there are some helpful tricks to ease the uncomfortable feeling people have.

If the anxiety or phobia stems from a bad experience or an injection that didn’t get the tooth numb enough, open communication is the best way to help solve that. Make sure you tell your Dentist the bad experience or that it might take more anesthetic to get the tooth numb. The open communication will help us, do everything we can to ensure we don’t repeat the bad experience or we can ensure your numb enough.

If the anxiety or phobia stems from feeling claustrophobic or there are just too many things going into your mouth at the same time, we can take breaks or try using different instruments. Sometimes just explaining every step and why we use what we need to use to ensure you get the best care will ease the mind.

Dentistry can be costly when it has been put off. Asking the dental office what they offer for payment plans is something that can ease the mind as well. There are a lot of options when it comes to treatment, and talking with the Dentist about your options and how fast or slow you will need to take your treatment is something that can be discussed.

The noise of the instruments and the handpieces can be unnerving at times. Listening to your music with headphones is something that can always help drown out that noise.


Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia are both things that can make the dental experience worse. Dr. Ross and staff at Ross Family Dentistry will always do what she can to help put you at ease. We hope some of those tricks will help!


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