First Advisor

Robin Baker

Date of Award

Winter 3-15-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Public Health Studies: Pre-clinical Health Science and University Honors






Dental, Dental Anxiety, Interventions, Anxiety Management, Access to Dental Care


Within this literature review, the root causes of dental anxiety, current intervention methods, and possible preventative interventions are discussed. Dental anxiety affects millions of individuals across diverse backgrounds and can be detrimental to oral health. This issue can arise from various sources, however, different socioeconomic and sociodemographic factors can contribute to an individual’s risk of developing dental anxiety. Understanding what predisposes certain populations to become more likely to develop dental anxiety is imperative to holistically address the concern. Investigating the relationship between lack of access, oral health, and anxiety levels allows for an understanding of the root causes of anxiety. With these in mind, examining current interventions for dental anxiety and their real-life implications sheds light to where they excel and where they fall short. Current interventions largely focus on in-chair management which allows procedures to be accomplished efficiently but does little to address the causes of anxiety. Examining possible interventions outside of the dental office in a preventative fashion could remove dental anxiety from being a barrier to better oral health for many populations. Exploring interventions that expand access to dental care and improve oral health are imperative to decreasing the prevalence of dental anxiety.