Tips for Overcoming Your Dental Fears

 In Family Dentistry

Dental check-ups are an essential part of preventing tooth decay and maintaining your overall health.  But, many of us have fears and anxieties about going to a dentist that actually prevent us from every even making an appointment.  We know that we should go, but we’re afraid to do so. How do you overcome these fears?

First of all, it’s important to understand that you’re not alone.  Even people who’ve had positive experiences at the dentist still have fears about going back.  But, we’re going to put all of your fears at ease by providing tactics that will help you overcome the most common dental anxieties so that you can move forward, and take care of your smile and health.    

Common Dental Fears & Anxieties

  • Needles – A fear of needles in general is incredibly common.  In fact, nearly 1 in 5 people share this fear when it comes to seeing any kind of medical practitioner.  The best way to address this fear is to discuss it with your dentist before an appointment. They understand better than anyone that these fears are very real, but they can also provide helpful ways to deal with these fears and even overcome them altogether.  They can reassure you by discussing the highly effective numbing gels that they use prior to giving you any sort of injection. All they do is hold the gel in place, and just like that, you won’t feel a thing! These numbing gels have helped so many patients overcome their fear of dental injections.  Also, don’t be afraid to ask for this at the beginning of an appointment (should the use of needles be necessary).
  • The Drill –  Just like needles, many patients fear pain from a dental drill.  These anxieties can be triggered by the very sound of a drill. But, again, this fear can be easily addressed with some talk with your dentist before an appointment.  Patients are numbed before the use of any drill, and when sufficiently numbed, you won’t even feel a thing. The only thing you may experience or be aware of is a vibration or light pressure.  And, if it’s the sound of the drill itself that bothers you, you can tune that out by simply popping in some earphones to listen to some music to calm and distract you. In fact, some dentist offices even provide them to their patience.  
  • Pain – For some patients, the fear isn’t triggered by the dental tools being used, rather by the fear of the possibility of experiencing pain.  Dental procedures have come a long way, and we understand that some procedures may have resulted in a little pain in the past, and so you’re afraid of a repeat experience.  Fortunately, today we have wonderful anesthetics and numbing gels that make procedures effortless and more comfortable for the patient.

How to Overcome Common Dental Fears & Anxieties  

Overcoming common dental fears and anxieties isn’t as impossible as some might think.  In fact, there are many tactics that can help you move past them altogether so that you no longer have to be afraid to put your health first.  Here are some tips:

  • Identify the source of your fear.  Once you’re able to do this, you’ll be able to start working towards a solution and even overcome it altogether.  
  • Choose a dentist who you trust and who will listen to your fears.  Fears only increase when you put your trust in the wrong hands, so take some time to get to know the people who will be handling your care.  
  • Bring a trusted friend or family member with you to your appointment.  For many patients, it’s comforting just to have someone else there. It can be a nice distraction for you to keep your mind off your fears.  
  • Ask your doctor to explain each procedure and what you can expect.  A lot of patients find a great deal of emotional relief when they’re prepared for what comes next.  Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist to pre-warn you about certain sensations you might experience during a procedure while it’s happening.  
  • If it will help ease your anxieties, don’t be afraid to ask for numbing or sedation.  
  • Teach yourself breathing and meditation techniques before you go into your next appointment.  By simply becoming more mindful of your body’s reactions to certain stimuli, you can learn to reduce your anxiety.  
  • If your fears and anxieties are so severe that you can’t think of anything other than them, consider seeking professional help.  It’s important to address the root causes of your fears, especially when medically related, so that they don’t hold you back from seeking the attention that you need in order to maintain optimum health.  

For those suffering from dental anxiety, it’s important to choose a dentist who you trust and who will listen to your fears.  That’s where we come in. Our team is here for you, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that you have the best experience you can have while in our dentists’ chairs.  We can help you manage your fears and put them at ease so that your anxieties don’t get in the way of your quality of life.

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