In order to determine the psychiatric characteristics of people with dental injection phobia. 118 dental injection phobics were systematically assessed using a structured clinical interview and a written questionnaire. Fifty-four percent of subjects had a current Axis I diagnosis other than dental injection phobia, mainly anxiety, mood or adjustment disorder, and 68.6% of subjects had an additional lifetime Axis I diagnosis. Subjects with additional current Axis I diagnoses reported higher dental anxiety, greater severity of injection fear cognitions, and poorer relationships with dental professionals, than did subjects without any or with past Axis I diagnoses. Further investigation is needed to explore the treatment possibilities for patients with and without additional current diagnoses.