Feelings of fear and anxiety are common to all people. The only difference is the source of our distress varies from one person to the next. For one individual, the trigger could be the fear of heights. Another person may be petrified by cats. Some feelings are more amorphous, such as the fear of the unknown that produces paralyzing indecision. In this post, we’re going to focus on dental anxiety, the fear of going to the dentist. Let’s take a look at how widespread the issue is, what causes it, and the best solution for overcoming the fear.

The Statistics

Dentist cleaning teeth of woman patient : Professional Teeth Cleaning

To be as unique as we human beings are, it can be surprising to think of all the ways we are alike, including the many beliefs that are common among us. You may not have given it any thought, but dental anxiety is one of these widespread thoughts. Find out more in the following post.

Multiple focus group studies conducted in 2013 and 2018 confirm that 75% of American adults admit they are anxious about visiting a dentist. Their fear stems from preconceived notions of associating dentists with painful and uncomfortable procedures. Survey respondents further state that dental offices are “scary,” “depressing,” and “uninspired” making going to the dentist even more difficult. Read more at PR Newswire

Did you see yourself in the piece? Does irrational stress about the dentist prevent you from receiving the care your smile needs. Perhaps your fear truly isn’t “all in your head,” but based on a past personal experience. Regardless of whether the root of your problem is real or imagined, it needs to be identified and dealt with. Let’s examine this aspect of in more detail.

Common Reasons Behind Dental Anxiety


Do you know that with one in-born exception, the fear of falling, babies have no sense of fear; it’s all learned behavior. Learning common fears, such as the fear of darkness or getting lost, starts in our very earliest days. Where does dental anxiety stem from? Here are some reasons you may identify with.

If you had a traumatic dental episode at any point, especially in childhood, it can have a lasting effect on your relationship with dental visits. Invasive dental treatments as a young child, such as teeth extractions or baby root canals, are particularly impactful on people’s future comfort with visiting the dentist…

There’s a lot of talk out there — among family and friends or even in the media — about how “unpleasant” a trip to the dentist is. You may casually hear how “awful” it is to visit the dentist and begin to adopt these thoughts as your own reality…

Maybe you’ve put off your preventive dental visits for a long time and are now worried about what we might find as a result. Or, you’re just uncomfortable with the “judgment” that you think our hygienists and dentists will pass about your oral health care habits…Read more at Thomas Omarxen

A Solution To Consider


Like most other overwhelming fears, to live your best life you will need to overcome your dental anxiety. This will allow you to get the dental care you need to have healthy teeth and gums. As a dental anxiety sufferer, you’re probably wondering how you can beat the fear. We’re here to tell you that sedation dentistry is the solution you need. Keep reading and learn more.

Sedation dentistry involves the administration of a drug before or during dental treatment by the dentist. Only one form, which is general anesthesia, makes the patient fully unconscious throughout the treatment. Other types will induce a relaxed state but will not knock the patient out completely. Some of  the most common types of sedation dentistry include:

Nitrous oxide: this gas keeps patients relaxed during the procedure. It wears off soon after, so the patient might be able to go home on their own after the dental appointment.

Oral sedatives: this type of sedative, including diazepam, can help patients stay calm during dental treatments. The patient will use the drug about an hour or so before the appointment. They will be completely awake but experience less anxiety and feel somewhat sleepy until the effects of the drug wear off…Read more at Preferred Dental Center

As you see, there are multiple sedation options available. Most make feel like you’re in a relaxed, waking sleep where everything that’s happening has a dreamlike quality. IV sedation, on the other hand, administered in our office by an anesthesiologist, makes you fully unconscious during your procedure.

With the help of sedation, you can access the dental care you’ve been avoiding. Contact Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne today, and let’s resolve your dental fear with sedation. Call 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on our website to discuss your sedation appointment. Dr. Harrell will review your needs, explain the options and help you decide which best suits your needs. Get in touch with us today to begin your new smile journey.