Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2013


Anesthesia and Analgesia | Biology | Biomedical and Dental Materials | Dental Public Health and Education | Health Psychology | Pediatric Dentistry and Pedodontics


Dental Anxiety is a highly debilitating condition that can keep people away from the dentist and from receiving critical care. This can lead to serious medical conditions that could have easily been prevented through proper dental care. The purpose of this paper is to describe the nature of dental fear and the different treatment options available. I will focus on helpful traits of dentists and the use of psychological treatments, nitrous oxide, anti-anxiety medications, and general anesthesia to reduce this fear. I will also discuss a comparison of a psychological treatment and an anti-anxiety medication as short-term and long-term treatment options and why dentists generally choose in-office options before reaching out to a psychologist.


Permission has been given by Dr. Daniel Osdoba, D.D.S. for use of the information provided during the interview on March 30, 2013.