Have you ever wondered how to get over dental anxiety? Knowing what to do when you are scared of the dentist can be a significant relief – for your mental and dental health!
Coping with dental anxiety starts by knowing that you aren’t alone. Estimates show that anywhere from 9% to 20% of adults in the United States suffer from dental phobia or anxiety.
Fortunately, there are ways to ease your anxieties about the dentist. By getting over dental anxiety, you can comfortably visit the dentist and ensure your dental health stays on track.
If you want to learn how to get rid of dental anxiety, this article is for you. We’ll review:
- Tips for dentist anxiety
- What to do when you are scared of the dentist
- How to get over a fear of the dentist with the right provider
It’s time to get that long-overdue dentist phobia help!
Let’s start by examining why people fear the dentist and offer some practical tips to help you learn how to get over your fear of dentists!
Dentist Phobia Help: Why People Fear The Dentist
Are you wondering how to cope with dental anxiety? Getting over your dental anxiety starts with learning more about your fears.
There are a variety of reasons people fear the dentist:
- Loss of control
- Fear of pain
- Needles and injections
- The sound of power drills during cleaning or operations
- A previous bad experience with a dentist or an orthodontist
Know that despite these fears, you’re safe in a reputable dentist’s office. A highly qualified dental care team can handle various dental issues and comfort levels with ease.
Sometimes, however, we understand simply knowing you’re in good hands is not always enough. So, here’s our best advice on how to get rid of dental anxiety.
How to Get Over Dental Anxiety: 6 Tips for Dentist Anxiety Relief
Now that you know more about dental anxiety and why you might fear the dentist, how do you get rid of your fears?
These six practical tips will help you learn how to get over a fear of dentist visits and procedures.
1. Face Your Fears Openly
Knowledge is indeed power, so recognizing your fears and speaking openly about your feelings will go a long way.
Whether you have surface-level anxiety around dental needles or deep-rooted fears starting with walking inside the office, don’t try to hide them from family, friends, or your dentist. By admitting to your fears, they won’t be able to consume you.
When you are seen at a dental office, whether you write it on your new patient paperwork or directly tell your hygienist or dentist, let the office know what your specific fears are. This can go a long way if they are aware of any anxiety or fear you’re feeling.
2. Find a Compassionate Dentist
One of the best ways to get over dental anxiety is to find a “dentist for terrified patients.”
When researching dentists in your area, look for practice reviews from real patients. Though a dentist may not advertise himself or herself as a “dentist for terrified patients,” reading reviews will give you some good insight into whether the practice could be the right fit.
Good reviews can often be a sign that a dental office is welcoming, safe, and professional. You may even look for reviews from others talking about how the staff or dentists made them feel comfortable or relieved some of their dental fears.
“First Visit with Dr. Tolbert was great. She made me feel comfortable and explained everything. [The] Office is amazing. [And the] Front desk staff was very friendly. Did not have to wait a long time.” – Recent Patient at Northside Dental Co. in Richmond, VA
3. Arrange a Consultation
Additionally, it can be beneficial to meet the dentist in person, prior to starting treatment. This can make you more comfortable with the dentist and allow them to better understand your fears.
Before your first appointment, arrange a consultation or brief evaluation with the dentist who would be in charge of your care.
Whether you’re anxious about a general dental cleaning or a procedure to fix a broken tooth, a consultation can help ease your fears. You never know – you may reduce your fears by simply asking questions about the dental procedure!
4. Ask Questions During Treatment
Still unsure of how to deal with anxiety at the dentist? Try asking questions throughout your treatment.
Now, we aren’t suggesting talking with a mouth full of tools, but people who fear dentists often don’t know what will happen during their visit. Talk to your dentist and hygienist and ask them if they can inform you about what they’re doing throughout the appointment.
You may find that you have less anxiety when you know exactly what’s going on and how your dentist uses those seemingly sharp tools.
5. Practice Anxiety-Reducing Techniques and Look for Helpful Tools
Implementing anxiety-reducing techniques is another way for people who want to learn how to not fear the dentist to overcome their fears. Some great techniques include:
- Breath counting
- Meditating or deep breathing
- Reflective journaling about your fears
- Learning to recognize and accept that the fears will be present temporarily
Additionally, many offices provide tools to help patients overcome their dental fears. Inquire about some of these prior to your appointment:
- Nitrous (laughing gas)
- Noise-canceling headphones
- TVs in the operatory for distraction
- Weighted blankets
- Therapy dog
You’d be surprised to find out if your dentist or a dentist near you can provide some of these amenities for your appointment!
6. Relax Before Your Visit
If you’re learning how to get rid of dental anxiety, one of our best tips for dental anxiety applies before your visit even starts. Don’t hype yourself up before you step foot in the office. Instead, try a calming technique like:
- Taking a soothing bath
- Doing some light yoga or meditation for 20 to 30 minutes
- Listening to your favorite music
Clear your head, and do something relaxing that takes your mind off the appointment to come.
Another way to face those fears is to seek professional help. Many patients that have severe dental anxiety can be prescribed medication from their primary care physician to take prior to dental appointments to help take off the edge.
Visit Northside Dental: Your Anxiety-Free Dentist For Terrified Patients
Getting over dental anxiety isn’t easy. However, it’s possible and there are some things you can to do overcome your fears.
If you’ve been wondering how to get over a fear of dentist appointments, we want to help! Our top tips for dentist anxiety include:
- Facing your fears openly
- Finding a compassionate dentist
- Arranging a consultation
- Asking questions during treatment
- Practicing general anxiety-reducing techniques and looking for helpful tools
- Relaxing before your visit
If you’re struggling to learn how to get over dental anxiety, one of the best things you can do is visit Northside Dental. We’ll help you get over your fear of the dentist, allay any fears you might have, and give you excellent dental care!
Our team of caring and compassionate dentists is here for you. We take the time to get to know you and develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs. You can trust that every team member is trained, experienced, and dedicated to your comfort. And if you have any questions or concerns, we’re more than happy to walk through them with you. Whether you need simple dental care or extensive work, we can help.
Are you ready to visit a dentist that puts its patients and their comfort first?
Schedule a consultation at Northside Dental today! Our team can’t wait to welcome you into our office and provide you with a dental experience that’s second to none.