Dental Consultation GuideGeneral DentistryPatient Experience

Why do people fear Visiting the Dentist?

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People are petrified of dentists. Even though it is a routine and necessary part of life, visiting the dentist feels like a harrowing experience for many people. Some make appointments as soon as possible and reschedule them if they have to cancel last minute. There are some dentists who advertise special packages to make the entire process more accessible. Regardless of how far people go to avoid visiting the dentist, most of them still avoid it because they are afraid of needles, drills, injections, and other instruments that must be used during treatment. But why do people fear visiting the dentist? what exactly is causing all this fear? And why do people react this way?

What is causing the fear ?

When fear is caused by a certain stimulus, the body produces certain hormones and neurotransmitters to induce the “fight or flight” response. This response is helpful when danger is present. It is an instinct, and it is what causes the “freeze, flight, or fight” response that everyone is familiar with. In a dental visit, the same mechanism is triggered – but for a situation in which there is no actual danger.

It is like the body is preparing to protect itself from a threat that does not exist. People are afraid that dental instruments will cause them pain even though they are clean and used properly. People also fear that they will be unable to cope with the pain and that they won’t be able to get through it. This can lead to anxiety or a panic attack.

Psychology behind Visiting Dentist

  • Negative past experiences: If someone had a traumatic experience in the dentist’s chair in the past, they are more likely to be afraid of future visits. Even if the person was treated well by the dentist, the fear of having to go back can be difficult to overcome. 
  • Sensory sensitivity: Some people are more sensitive to sensation than others, meaning they may feel pain more intensely than others would at the same level of stimulus. This means that even mild pain can be unbearable for them. 
dental fear

This is especially true for people who grew up in different parts of the world where dentists are rare and may not be trusted. 

  • Previous negative associations with dentists: While some people fear the dentist because of a traumatic experience they had, others fear it because they were conditioned to fear it by their parents or other authority figures.
  • Lack of information about dentistry: People who don’t have the proper knowledge about dentistry are more likely to be afraid of it. This is why dentists should always explain what they are doing before they do it.

Operative Dentistry: Visiting Dentist fear cause

Dentists have to perform many procedures on patients, so they need to know what things may cause fear. They can help people overcome their fears by being sensitive to the symptoms of anxiety. Dentists should look out for signs of dental fear such as trembling, sweating, nausea, and dry mouth. If a patient is experiencing these symptoms, the dentist can help them either by explaining the procedure or providing pain relief.

Curious to know answers about these questions, watch this video by India’s leading Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Chirag Chamria of Royal Dental Clinics where he throws light on these fundamentals.

Brief overview of why people are afraid of visiting dentist

Dentists need to know why people are afraid of them so that they can address their patient’s fears with compassion. People are most afraid of the dentist because of dental drilling, pain, and the possibility of an accident occurring during the procedure. Dental drilling can cause pain, and some people are afraid of getting hurt. Some people are also afraid of getting an infection if they are not careful while brushing their teeth.

Accidents may happen, and patients may get injured. The length of the procedure may also be a reason why people are afraid of going to the dentist. The longer the procedure lasts, the more uncomfortable it is. Most people are afraid of the dentist because they don’t like going there.


Dental fear is a common problem that can easily be alleviated with proper treatment. If you fear the dentist, it is important to find a solution to this problem. Fortunately, there are several ways to overcome dental fear. When looking for a dentist, you should find someone you can trust and feel comfortable around.

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