Is Odontophobia Real? – Dental Fear and Anxiety

What is Odontophobia?

Odontophobia is considered a very common extreme anxiety or fear experienced by both the young and old. It is defined as the fear of all things dental-related, or in simpler terms, dental fear or dental anxiety. Some, however, may question, “Is odontophobia real?


Yes, very real.

One survey was taken by 1,959 Dutch adults between the ages of 18-93 years of age. This survey suggested that among phobias, dental fear was the most common. Furthermore, fear of receiving dental treatment was also strongly associated with females, who rated their fear of the dentist as more severe than all of the other phobias they’ve experienced. The findings of this survey led to the conclusion that odontophobia is a “remarkably severe and stable condition with long duration.” Wow, that’s pretty convincing.

Is Odontophobia Real for Patients Who Don’t Know Why They are Afraid?

Sometimes the causes behind odontophobia are rooted in past traumatic experiences at the dentist office or a general fear of experiencing pain, but quite often, a patient may not be able to pinpoint exactly why they are so afraid of the dentist. The causes behind extreme dental fear or dental anxiety are varied, but in every case, the experience is very real regardless of whether or not the patient knows why.

what is the fear of dentists called

Is There a Cure?

Phobias are typically an amplified anxiety or fear, sometimes without explanation. Some phobias can be “cured” but more often than not, they are managed. It can take years of therapy to “cure” a phobia, but often when a patient needs dental work, they don’t have years to overcome their fear.

Sedation dentistry offers solutions for those suffering from odontophobia and general anxiety over seeing a dentist. Dr. Reem Kidess serves the Scottsdale, Phoenix and surrounding AZ areas, and can help you with your custom sedation dentistry needs. Contact our Scottsdale dental office today for more information.


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