Local anesthetics still the main relief, despite alleged side effects

Dental health is suffering on a global level, and surprisingly or not, even the world’s leading economies USA, UK, and Germany make no exception. Some of the key reasons for our unaddressed teeth issues are the lack of dental insurance, the high treatment costs, the locally hindered access to dental care, and last but not least - the fear of the dental office. One third of the US population avoids going to the dentist because of dental anxiety or fear. And this trend is universal.

According to a recent survey conducted on the market research platform DentaVox and taken by 18,000 people worldwide, 61% of the respondents are suffering from dental fear, and almost 4% of them have never been to a dentist. The biggest percentage of people (39%) are afraid of the pain, followed by the smell of chemicals (24%) and the sound of the drill (21%). A smaller part (7%) are afraid of being stuck in the dental chair (7%) and having to keep their mouth open for a long time (5%). There are also people (5%) who dread thеse discomforts altogether and such who are afraid of receiving the dental bill (5%).



Local anesthetics remain the key solution for lindering patients’ fears and unpleasant sensations, despite the potential side effects such as dizziness, nausea and numbness ("fat lip"). To overcome pain and fear associated with dental procedures, nearly 60% of all respondents resort to local anesthetics, even though 45% of all people who have taken the survey consider local anesthesia harmful or somewhat harmful.

The financial factor also plays a significant role when deciding whether or not to opt for a sedation. Around 80% of people are very likely or somewhat likely to refrain from a local anesthesia if this would reduce their dental bill. A total of 43% of all respondents would even go for a lengthy dental procedure without any sedation and 2% of people say they would consider this option, if they could get sedation in case of an unbearable pain.

Given the complex nature and varying severity of dental anxiety, more and more dentists around the world are applying an array of auxiliary stress and pain relieving methods in the dental office. For starters, they stray away from the typical, sterile white dental setting by opting for dental furniture and appliances in bright and cheerful colors. They also strive to create a relaxing and welcoming environment enhanced by a discreet background music. Many dentists attend emotional intelligence and empathy promoting seminars and put great efforts in training their assistants and administrative staff to adopt these key competences as well.

Technology is also backing dentists in their raid against dental fear. There are already very advanced, painless injection systems and quiet drills on the market that make treatments much more bearable. Entertaining patients’ senses by providing them with 3D glasses and headphones while on the dental chair has also become a widespread and well-accepted practice. According to the dental community, all these approaches are worth trying to overcome the widespread fear spiral that seriously threatens dental health.


About DentaVox

DentaVox is an online market research platform exploring people’s opinion and experience on multiple dental health related topics. In return for their honest answers and time taken, respondents are incentivized with different amounts of Dentacoin - the first cryptocurrency for the global dental industry. At present, the platform is going through a complete overhaul and will offer a fresh design, enhanced functionality and many new surveys in the upcoming weeks. It is one of Dentacoin Foundation’s Blockchain-based tools aimed to help reshape the future of dentistry. The core mission of the Foundation is to promote prevention over treatment, and thus reduce costs and pain.

For more information:

Daria Kerancheva

PR & Digital Marketing Expert,

DentaVox Project Manager

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