Dental Phobia – Is It a Learned Behavior?

dca-blog_dental-fears-tools-scared-woman

According to a recent survey commissioned by Delta Dental Plans, parents may be inadvertently teaching their children to be afraid of the dentist. The study was released in conjunction with National Anxiety Month in April. About half of participating parents admitted to having fear of dentist issues, and the same number of children aged 12 and under also experienced dental fear. Because children can easily absorb the negative thoughts and reactions of tense, anxious parents, it’s important for moms and dads to stay calm and focused during dental exams, and present the concept of dental care in a positive light.

Why Kids Have Fear of Dentist Appointments

Dental check-ups are essential for maintaining good oral health, but at least 40 percent of children have some degree of dental phobia that makes their dentist visits scary. Parents who participated in the Delta Dental study claimed that fear of pain was the most common cause of their kids’ anxiety. Not liking the dentist and needing additional dental work were among the lesser fears. To help allay dental fears, parents should start exposing their kids to dental care early, so they can build relationships with their dentists. A baby’s first dental appointment should be made no later than his or her first birthday. Informing the dentist of a child’s anxiety before the visit and playing dentist at home can also help lessen stress.

Dental Phobia in Adults



When parents take charge of their own dental fear, they reduce the chances of spreading it to their kids. Talking to the dentist about dental fear or seeking a dentist who specializes in treating anxious patients can be helpful. Other ways to reduce dental fear include making early morning appointments, taking a friend to dental visits, and listening to music or podcasts during treatment. For severe cases of adult dental phobia, sedation dentistry or cognitive behavioral therapy may be required.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Peoria, call Maple Shade Dental Group today at (855) 979-3356 or make an appointment.

Maple Shade Dental Group offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Peoria. With 3 affiliated practices throughout Illinois, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Maple Shade Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Maple Shade Dental Group.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Staff seemed to work hard to make my visit as pleasant as possible.
Samuel S.
Loved the quality of service and the kindness in the staff.
Sade B.
Care. Courtesy
Mary H.
I think everyone there is very gracious and genuine. I adore Cassie! I plan my next teeth cleaning before I go so I get her!
Diane A.
My family loves Maple Shade Dental! Dr Shanahan is an Amazing dentist!!
Trista A.
Everyone was very friendly and extremely helpful
Raelene F.
What a GREAT dental office!! The staff & doctors are wonderful & caring professionals. Every time I go there it feels like visiting family. If you are looking for a dental office that cares […]
Deborah P.
Dr. Rufner is EXCELLENT!! Indeed, all of the staff that i encountered were so friendly and helpful.
Theodore S.
The staff is very friendly, patient , and I wouldn’t change my dentist for anything! I look forward to getting my teeth cleaned !
#5
I needed to get in ASAP after the holiday weekend to fix a loose crown; I left a message on Memorial day and you fit me in the next day!
Cheryl W.
The staff was amazing from the moment I called about a possible broken tooth. Everyone was personable, down to earth and its apparent to me that everyone is well educated in their field. I ultimately […]
Heather R.
Everyone is polite and does a good job
Becky M.
Friendly staff. Didn’t give me the run-around or recommend things that I really didn’t need. Actually listened to what I had to say
Faith H.
very friendly and professional staff
Janis S.
Dr. Wolf and his staff are amazing. They put you at ease and genuinely care about their patients. As someone with dentist anxiety, I had a great experience and highly recommend them.
Audra R.
Everyone was friendly, the services were thorough and fast.
Caroline B.
Very friendly staff!
Rachel B.
Everyone is very friendly and sincere!
Diane A.
Doctor Ruffner is amazing! He really cares about his patients and about the work he does. He knows I have terrible anxiety but he still wipes the tears away when I’m having a hard time. I can’t […]
Sara L.
The receptionist greeted me by name, short wait time, and my dental hygienist Beth does a great job and is very personable.
Brenda M.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here