Dental anxiety has been associated with many factors, some related to dental clinic and some not. The factors usually associated with dental anxiety are:
Attitude towards the Dentist: Attitude towards the dentist plays an important role in determining one’s attitude towards dental treatment. Patients who trust their dentists and find them warm and caring have reportedly lesser degree of dental anxiety.
Age and sex of the Patient: Females and younger individuals tend to have higher dental anxiety than the males and adults.
Satisfaction with Mouth: People with severe dental anxiety were dissatisfied with their oral health or appearance of their teeth. As compared to those who regularly visited the dentist and exhibited no or lower levels of anxiety.
Mean number of Filled Surfaces: Those with little dental anxiety or no dental anxiety have regular and frequent oral health checkups and thus making the detection of more carious lesions and at an early stage. Thus these people have more filled surfaces and fewer decayed surfaces.
Socioeconomic Status: Higher socioeconomic status has been associated with lesser amount of dental anxiety.
Level of Education: Educated individuals know the importance of oral hygiene and healthy teeth thus visit the dentist with greater frequency and lesser anxiety.
Age at First Visit: If the child’s first dental visit is early then chances of development of dental anxiety is less while if the first dental visit is at the age of adolescence, children tend to have constrained relations with the dentist and thus higher dental anxiety.
Awareness about Sterilization and Cross Infection: Awareness about the sterilization techniques and risk of cross infections at the dental clinic has resulted in higher dental anxiety among the more aware group.
Poor Attitude of Dental Personnel: Dental personnel find it difficult to handle the dentally anxious patients and believe that they get stressed and worked out after handling an anxiety patient. The dental staff may benefit from more training and being in treating the dental anxiety patients. They should be empathetic towards them.
Fear of Drilling: Fear of drilling has been the major fear among the dental anxiety patients. Most people find the sound of handpiece distressing and uncomfortable. Most people say they cannot stand the noise of the machine.
Dental Insurance Status: Dental insurance has not been directly shown to effect dental anxiety among individuals. But some studies have quoted that those with dental insurance had lesser degree of dental anxiety as compared those without the dental insurance.
Checkup Frequency: More frequent are dental checkups, more familiar the dentist and dental clinic becomes and lesser is the dental anxiety. Also the oral hygiene is better avoiding a traumatic situation.
Dental Clinic Environment: A soft and soothing dental environment can help allay dental anxiety.