Top Three Reasons People Have Dental Anxiety

For many people a trip to the dentist can be an anxiety filled excursion. No matter how amicable the dentist, hygienists, and staff are, the sound of instruments and smell of sterilization can put people over the edge. At our Jacksonville, Florida dental practice we do our best to create a comfortable atmosphere for all of our patients, however we do understand that for some dental anxiety is crippling. There are many things we can do to put you at ease, but first it’s important to tell us about your anxiety so we can create a dental experience that can brush your trepidation away.

Why Are People Afraid of The Dentist?

People fear their dentist for many reasons, and each person has their own experiences. However there are some root causes to dental phobia that we do our best to recognize and mitigate while you are receiving treatment at our Jacksonville, Florida dental practice.

Loss of Control

One of the most pervasive causes of anxiety for patients who fear the dentist is rooted in loss of control. While they can see her diplomas and have read rave reviews of Dr. Shields on all the dental review sites, the idea of letting her operate on your mouth can be terrifying. While you may understand that she knows what she’s doing, you may have had a bad experience in the past with a dentist who wasn’t gentle, caused pain, or subsequent complications. Not being in control of a situation can cause extreme anxiety that can put people off of going to the dentist.  If you are worried about not having control while you come in for your bi-annual check up, make sure you speak up. This Jacksonville, Florida Dentist understands that many people exhibit this fear. Once she knows that you are afraid of your appointment because you have no control over it, she can put your fears at ease. By describing exactly what she’s going to do, what it will sound like, what it will feel like, and why she’s doing it can help you follow along with the procedure and feel confident that she is doing her job to the best of her abilities.


Another of the many reasons why some patients are terrified of the dentist is their association of pain and dentistry. The mouth is an extremely sensitive part of the body. Every day we use the mouth to eat, drink, speak and convey our emotions. The thought of being in debilitating pain as a result of dental work can cause some patients to endure the pain of a cavity or broken tooth for years, even though a filling or crown would have been able to clear it up in less than one day. At our Jacksonville, Florida dental office, we understand that pain is scary and that it can be mitigated and eliminated with local and general anesthetics during your procedure. If it’s pain you are worried about discuss this with your dentist. She will be able to explain to you your options in pain relief and aversion. Local anesthetics can be used to numb small areas for minimally invasive procedures, we also practice sedation dentistry at our Jacksonville, Florida dental practice so you won’t feel a thing.  

The Instruments

The tools used in dental procedures are a major source of anxiety for dental patients. Whether it is the sight of a needle that delivers local anesthetic, or the sound of the drill that is necessary to remove decay before a filling or crown is bonded into place, the tools of the trade can be terrifying for some patients. For those patients who have avoided the dentist for years due to the fear of dental tools, take solace in knowing that the tools we use today are far superior to the tools dentists used even five years ago. Our drills are quieter and more ergonomic, and the techniques used for manual tools have drastically changed with comfort and a gentle touch in mind. If you are anxious about the tools Dr. Shields will use to perform your dental work, tell her. While she must use the tools to do the work, she can explain their importance and be extremely gentle while using them.

If you exhibit dental anxiety and are seeking a dentist with a gentle touch and a listening ear, give our Jacksonville, Florida dental practice a call today. We cannot wait to turn your phobia of dentists into a longstanding relationship built on respect and compassion.


Contact us

Smiles by Shields
3940 San Jose Park Dr.
Jacksonville, FL 32217