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Eyes open or shut?

During dental treatment, do you prefer to keep your eyes open or closed?

  • Eyes open

    Votes: 60 29.7%
  • Eyes closed

    Votes: 122 60.4%
  • Don't mind/don't know/depends

    Votes: 20 9.9%

  • Total voters


Staff member
Jan 1, 2005
I was wondering what is more common - to prefer to have your eyes open or closed during dental treatment? Please cast your vote :)!
I personally close my eyes. I don't want to see my dentist staring at me. I'm afraid of the look in their eyes when they see my mouth. It creeps me out a little bit, so I just close my eyes and hope it gets over asap.
Eyes open but stare at ceiling if there's sth I want to make sure I don't see. Otherwise look around at will and engage fully in the experience..gives me a greater sense of being in control (less likely to be taken by surprise) and it means I get 'included' in conversation not just 'worked on'.
Also, if you've got a good-looking dentist, why would you want to close your eyes?
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I keep myn closed cause I don't like to see what they are doing.
The score is now 5 to 1 in favour of keeping your eyes shut...I respectfully suggest, keeping them shut could be making it worse for some of you and keeping you in a need for sedation loop.....?
Closed very tightly shut! Just the sight of those instruments will have me up and running!
The score is now 5 to 1 in favour of keeping your eyes shut...I respectfully suggest, keeping them shut could be making it worse for some of you and keeping you in a need for sedation loop.....?

It would be interesting to see if there's much of a correlation? I much prefer to keep my eyes shut because I tend to get nasty flashbacks otherwise (and personally don't really like the idea of sedation). I do like to have a look beforehand, but as soon as there's anything coming near my mouth, it's eyes wide shut ;D... much easier to relax that way.
I have a way too active imagination, if I see what they are putting in my mouth I know I will get an even worse picture in my head of what it does. I prefer to try to shut out the noise, and imagine it is all just some innocent looking blunt plastic stick they are poking around with that wouldn't hurt a fly!
I might try opening my eyes occasionally during my surgery. I'll close my eyes, but then open them for say... one song, then close them again. I don't think I could keep them open the entire time.
i get worryed the dentist will hurt me. i cant close my eyes
Closed very tightly shut! Just the sight of those instruments will have me up and running!
Fair enough but even with my eyes open I rarely see anything very much...they usually approach from an angle and from below...things are not dangled in your face.....I'm good at looking at the ceiling too.....a parallel is at the hairdressers when they are cutting my fringe and ask me to close my eyes, I always want to open them before it's over....I don't have a problem trusting people I like at all but for me, I feel more in control and better able to object to something if my eyes are open.
I think it also signals to the dentist that they need to keep you in the communication loop....they can't behave as if you are not there. I hated it as a child when they would chat over you whilst working.

I also think you miss a lot of evidence of caring gestures if you keep your eyes closed.
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eyes shut, but i wear my sunglasses too, it helps me so i don't feel so much as if the dentist is invadeing my personal space!;)
I say eyes closed but openeing them sometimes to check things out!
I keep my eyes open whilst in the chair. I preffer to hsve eye contact with my dentist. This helps me relax, my dentist is really good at speaking to me and reassuring me, this helps me relax and feel more comfortable.
I am with Hawky ... I am not fond of keeping my eyes open for too long, but I have a HUGE problem with being afraid about the unknown (fear of the unkown, which is another phobia people can have)

Closed... I prefer to be as disconnected from the whole process as I can and because I AM in mortal terror through at least 75% of any dental work, it slows things down when the dentist is pausing to ask if I'm ok every two minutes because he saw a fresh wave of panic in my eyes.
Has to be open for me, I like to see what's happening and have know whats about to happen.
Eyes closed. I don't want to see what they're sticking in there. :giggle: While I'm not scared of needles, I do NOT want to look at it while being stuck with it! :hidesbehindsofa:
Well according to Stressdoc in another thread, keeping your eyes closed could make you more sensitive to pain, which sort of makes sense because you are shutting off one of the 5 senses (sight) so the others rev up to compensate (especially touch sensation)...so maybe those who close their eyes to receive injections and still find injections an ordeal should try keeping eyes open instead.
You do not have to see the syringe/wand or whatever with eyes open, a considerate dentist keeps stuff out of your line of sight.
Hmmmm, think i may try closing them for the injection at my next appt!

I had to have a tooth extracted at the dental access centre in November - and although the guy was very good, and i didn't feel anything (they had pre-warned him on my notes that i was very nervous) - i still caught a site of the needle as it went in! :scared: I think seeing how big/long it was made me even more scared, as for every shot he had to tell me to slow my breathing down. :pThe first shot - he told me to slow down my breathing as he didn't want me to turn blue on him.:p The second shot he was like "she's breathing fast again" and so his assistant was like "hmm she is - come on nice slow steady breathing" :p Then the third shot, i also sped my breathing up fast - so he had to tell me again himself for a third time to slow down (i accidentally bit his finger at this point) :p