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Why Are People Afraid of the Dentist – Finally Answered

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If given a choice, many people would opt not to go for that dentist’s appointment at all. Mater of fact, many people are adults and have never stepped foot in a Dentist’s office.

While it’s working out okay for a portion of them, this is not the case for a majority of them.

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Dental healthcare is important as our teeth and gums are very delicate and if they malfunction there can be a lot of ripple effects in the body and mind.

While it may sound appealing, not going to visit a dentist can have detrimental effects on your health. Poor dental health reduces the quality of life in general.

Even with this in mind, many people admittedly still avoid going to visit the dentist. A big reason for this is because of the fear of the idea of a dentist’s instills.

Here are some reasons people are afraid of the dentist.

The Tools

It is not so much the dentist that people are afraid of but the tools he uses to maneuver his or her way in people’s mouths.

Dentists use tools such as metal scrapers and drills to get the job done and the very picture of these invasive tools is enough to send chills down one’s spine.

The drill, for example, makes a loud noise that scares most people. Movies and cartoons have depicted it enough for people to instill fear.

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People are greatly impacted by what they see and hear in the mass media.

Other famous tools used by dentists and doctors at large are syringes.

Most people are afraid of syringes and the thought of one of four going into your gum can be quite frightening.

Negative Personal Experiences

A person’s past experiences determine a lot of what they are willing to do.

In this case, if a person underwent a procedure with a dentist that left them traumatized in the past, chances are that this person will put off going to the dentist for as long as they can.

Traumatic experiences scar us and a visit to the dentist can do just that.

It may have been traumatic because of a procedure gone wrong. It may also have been a negative personal experience if the dentist treated you with a bad attitude.

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People process pain different but for most people, the immediate instinct is to avoid it at all costs.

The pain that a person experienced personally after a dental procedure could possibly make them afraid to go back to the dentist.

Some people process the pain fro other people’s experiences that lead them to be afraid of dentists. Many people conquer this fear of pain by requesting the dentist to administer anesthetics to block the pain.

Control Issues

For people with control issues, a visit to the dentist can be completely nerve-wracking.

This is because they have to let go of the control and sit in a vulnerable position as the dentist gets to work. This lack of control builds up fears as the possibilities of what could happen run wild in people’s minds.

Even the act of sitting on the slanted or reclining dentist chair induces a lot of anxiety for these people as well as feelings of helplessness. 

Relaxation techniques can also be used to diminish fear. Deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, and guided imagery can help a patient to relax while in the dentist’s chair.


The anxiety of the unknown possibilities is one of the other reasons that people are afraid of dentists. People are usually afraid to go in as they imagine they will only get bad news.

While this is not always the case, many people prefer living in ignorance as opposed to going to a dentist only to be told they need surgery to remove a wisdom tooth or something more serious such as finding out they have gum disease.

A trip to the dentist also induces anxiety about the costs that will be incurred.

It is no secret that dental healthcare is not cheap and the fear that one might need a costly new filling is enough to keep them away from the dentist’s office.

To get through this fear you can seek to advise from your dentist first and air your grievances and fears.

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