Dental Nerves and Anxiety

dental anxiety, Dental Nerves and Anxiety

Looking after your oral health is as vital as your entire physical health; however, being at the dentist may not be the easiest thing, as the dentist can evoke feelings of nervousness and anxiety for some. Dental anxiety is a common issue affecting all ages, with up to 53% of the UK population scared of visiting the dentist. In this blog, we dive into the world of dental anxiety, exploring the causes, impact, and various coping strategies.

Understanding Dental Anxiety and its Causes:

Dental anxiety, also called dental phobia, is fear, anxiety, or stress associated with the dentist, which can result in avoiding or delaying dental treatments. People with dental phobia may experience:

  • A Racing Heartbeat
  • Low Blood Pressure – can lead to fainting
  • Physical Distress – crying, sweating, signs of panic

Furthermore, the fears or causes of dental phobia include:

  • Fear of Pain – from needles, drills, or other equipment
  • Past Traumatic Experiences
  • Fear of Loss of Control – some may feel vulnerable when sitting in the dentist’s chair
  • Embarrassment or Self-Consciousness – fear of being judged

The Consequences of Dental Anxiety:

The impact of dental phobia goes beyond just nervousness and can impact an individual physically and mentally:

  • Poor Oral Health – leads to worsening dental conditions, pain, or even tooth loss
  • Emotional Stress
  • Physical Consequences – can lead to headaches, muscle tension and sleep disturbances


Coping Strategies:

If you struggle with dental phobia, it’s pivotal to find coping methods to look after your oral health. Some strategies include:

  • Communicating with your Dentist – being open with your dentist can enable them to help guide you through the dental appointment, and they can tailor the appointment to how you’re feeling
  • Deep Breathing and Relaxation Techniques – this can help you calm your nerves
  • Sedation and Anaesthetic –nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral sedatives could be available
  • Using Distractions – watching TV, or listening to music or an audiobook can help distract you from your thoughts


Dental nerves and anxiety are extremely common and completely understandable, but they shouldn’t get in the way of you looking after your oral hygiene. Understanding the consequences and coping methods of dental phobia allows you to take control of your anxiety and can help you put something in place. Moreover, remember that your dentists are here to support you through your dental anxiety journey. If you or someone you know is experiencing dental phobia and would like to talk to a dentist or see what Owlsmoor can do for you during your appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us!