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SpOoKy ScArY

Oct. 19th, 2022

By Gracie Groth, Class of 2026

Boo! A visit to the dentist sounds frightening to a majority of people. “Dental anxiety, or dental fear, is estimated to affect approximately 36% of the population, with a further 12% suffering from extreme dental fear.”

Common reasons that people avoid visiting the dentist include:

  • Pain/ needles

  • Being lectured

  • Smells/ sounds of the office

  • Bad past experiences

  • Expense

  • Too busy/ long waiting times

It is important to identify and address these patient concerns to increase appointment attendance and properly manage their oral health.

There are a number of amenities that can be implemented to improve patient comfort and lower stress within an office including:

  • Aromatherapy

  • Snacks/drinks

  • Headphones/ music/ audiobooks

  • Weighted blankets/ neck pillows

  • Eye masks

  • TV

  • Service Animals

It is also an important month within the dental community as October is recognized as Dental Hygiene Month & Oral Cancer Awareness Month. This serves as an annual reminder for everyone to practice the daily habits that promote healthy teeth and gums. We also celebrate hygienists who are crucial team members in helping to maintain a patient's oral health. By creating an environment that attracts patients and eases their fears, dentists are able to successfully complete a greater number of oral cancer screenings.

"Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development. It will cause over 9,750 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day." Those are some pretty scary statistics and it is important patients recognize the importance of routine dental visits & screenings!

Although as dental students visiting the dentist is probably not on your “Greatest Fears List”, it may be on others. Making a difference in these patients' experiences can greatly impact their dental visit attendance and overall oral health.

Happy Spooky Season! As you enjoy the cooler weather, here are some Arizona fall activities to check out:

  • Arizona State Fair

  • 13th Floor Haunted House in Phoenix

  • Golden Aspen Grove in Flagstaff

  • Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek

  • Mother Nature’s Farm in Gilbert

  • Mortimer Farms in Dewey


10 reasons people don't like going to the dentist. Emergency Dental Care. (2014, May 14). Retrieved October 19, 2022, from

Admin. (2015, November 27). 29 dental office amenities to attract more patients. Dental Marketing Direct - Digital Marketing for Dental Offices. Retrieved October 19, 2022, from

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