Dental anxiety is an extremely common problem affecting the populations of all ages, of various geographical areas. The degree of anxiety varies and affects the person’s oral health status, interferes with dental attendance and service delivery. Dental professionals play a major role in the management and prevention of dental anxiety in individual patients and the community at large. Dental anxiety and fear are both significant concerns faced by dental clinicians and dental auxiliaries. Generally, majority of the respondents in spite of being only mild to moderately anxious, never visited a dentist in this population possibly indicating the poor dental awareness, lack of active nationwide oral health awareness, influence of socio-economic factors, individual personality traits, type of preoperative information, education level, gender, parental influence, personal dental experience and due to multiple other factors.
Dental anxiety is caused mainly due to fear of pain, bleeding, smell associated with the practice, dental instrument, trauma, etc. Various factors, including socioeconomic and psychological characteristics are responsible for the dental anxiety. Identifying these cognitive factors will facilitate the behavioural management of the dental phobia to enhance the dental visits. The dentist plays a major role in identifying the anxious patients so that they can be appropriately managed thereby enhancing patient satisfaction and better dentist–patient relationship.