As many as 40 million Americans avoid the dentist because of fear and anxiety, according to Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.
So, why the fear of the dentist? People are anxious about dental visits for different reasons. Some anticipate pain. Others worry that the dentist might be rushed or neglect their concerns. Additional stressors include negative memories of past experiences and even the sterile smell of the dental office. Sometimes, simply interrupting the normal day’s routine for a dentist visit creates anxiety.
If unaddressed, dental anxiety can lead to oral health problems, which can, in turn, require more dental treatment.