Dental Fear and Anxiety: Why It Exists and What Providers Can Do to Help

PowerPoint Slide Download
Dental Fear and Anxiety: Why It Exists and What Providers Can Do to Help
CE Credits
1 hour

Fear and anxiety related to dental care pose a significant barrier to receiving dental treatment and affects people across socioeconomic and demographic groups. It creates a “cycle of avoidance,” which can lead to missed care, deterioration of oral health, and invasive, costly procedures that negatively impact patients and the overall oral health system. This 60-minute webinar will explore public perceptions of dental fear and anxiety, the science behind the negative feelings many individuals have about receiving dental care, and potential solutions for — and prevention of — dental fear and anxiety. Our unique expert panel — a dental provider, a clinical psychologist, and a researcher — will share their expertise on dental fear and anxiety across the lifespan and look at how childhood experiences can influence oral and overall health in adulthood.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe epidemiological and etiological considerations of dental fear and anxiety.
  • Recognize the potential connection between dental fear and anxiety with overall health.
  • Explain how dental fear and anxiety can become barriers for patients in accessing care.
  • Discuss how fear and anxiety are assessed in an oral health setting.
  • Identify techniques and treatments that can be helpful in allaying dental fear and anxiety.

Moderator and Presenter

Lisa Heaton, PhD, Science Writer, Analytics and Evaluation, CareQuest Institute for Oral Health


Cameron Randall, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Oral Health Sciences University of Washington School of Dentistry

Dennis Nutter, DDS, DABPD, FACD, Diplomate, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry

This webinar will be recorded.




CareQuest Institute for Oral Health is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider.
ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. CareQuest Institute for Oral Health designates this activity for 1 continuing education credit.
This continuing education activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the standards of the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program (ADA CERP) by CareQuest Institute for Oral Health.

Participating instructor(s) in this program have disclosed that they have the following financial arrangement or affiliation with the listed corporate organization offering financial support or grant monies for or related to the content of this program/activity.
Lisa J. Heaton, PhD
Corporate Organization: CareQuest Institute