About 53% of the UK population suffers from dental phobia and experiences anxiety and fear before and during their visit to the dentist. Dental phobia is a worldwide problem for all patients around the world.
Dental fear can take many forms, from slight nervousness to a fulminant panic outburst. For mild sufferers, visiting the dentist is only an unpleasant experience. However, a significant minority of patients suffer from acute phobics with a high level of intense anxiety enough to deter their regular and essential dental appointments.
Some nervous patients are terrified to tears by merely the thought of booking a dental appointment. The research shows that 17% of the population suffer from a level of dental phobia to an extent where they completely avoid dental visits. For this group, years of avoidance and missed dental appointments can have severe consequences for both oral and mental health.
It’s not uncommon for dentists to encounter patients who endure years of pain, gum disease, loose or missing teeth, and ill-health before finally confronting their fear.
The symptoms of dental phobia vary from patient to patient. Sufferers will commonly experience one or more of the following symptoms: