According to a recent survey, 12% of the people in Germany have a dental phobia. This was reported in spite of the fact that a wide range of the German population go for dental checkups on a regular basis.
The survey showed that 1 one every 2 patients reported having a little fear from dentists. Over thirty percent indicated that they had no fear. The results of this survey are similar to those that have been published for other countries such as USA and Australia.
Around 1,800 people participated in the survey. The research was carried out by the Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research (Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach) in cooperation with the Institute of German Dentists (Institut der Deutschen Zahnärzte).
Dr. Jürgen Fedderwitz, Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists (Kassenzahnärztliche Bundesvereinigung), commented on the survey saying that “There are treatment possibilities such as psychotherapy and hypnosis available for the minority of patients who avoid seeing a dentist because their fear is so severe,” adding “If a phobia has been attested by a doctor, even a general anesthetic could come into consideration.”
The majority of German dental patients ask for local anesthetics and according to Initiative proDente, 52 million doses of local anesthetics are provided every year. Initiative proDente is a consortium featuring 5 leading dental associations in Germany.
Even with the high doses of local anesthetics every year, side effects are reported as limited. A review was carried out between 1975 and 2000 indicated that only 3,335 adverse events were reported among 775 million injections. This means nearly one side effect for every 232,384 doses of local anesthetic. Noted adverse events were mainly circulatory disturbance, vertigo, or breathing difficulties.