Afraid of Dentists? 3 Steps to Overcome Your Dental Fears


Oddly enough, there are a variety of fears and anxieties associated with the human mouth. Many people experience nightmares about their teeth crumbling or falling out, and in 2015, 20% of American adults stated they suffered from anxiety due to the condition of their mouth and teeth. Perhaps the biggest tooth-related fear is the fear of going to the dentist. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people put off scheduling an appointment at a dental practice due to nerves.

Luckily, there are ways to combat fears of the dentist to protect your oral health. Here are a few tips and tricks to best manage dentist-related fears:

1. Identify the Source of Your Worries

The first key step to lessening dental fears is understanding them. Fear of dentists might be caused by:

Bad or painful experience during earlier dental care

Nerves about a procedure causing further pain

Feelings of loss of control, vulnerability, or helplessness

Embarrassment about your teeth or oral health

Nerves about the financial costs of care

Recognizing what may be causing your fear can help you and your dentist come up with management strategies. For example, if you're afraid of pain, or have experienced pain at the dentist in the past, your dentist can recommend nitrous oxide, sedation methods, or distraction strategies to make you as comfortable as possible. Or, if you think your fear comes from loss of control, a dentist can offer you breaks during the procedure, or give you hand signals to for you to request a chance catch your breath during treatment.

2. Choose the Right Dental Practice

Make sure you are absolutely comfortable with your family dental practice and staff to calm pre-appointment fears. Ask to meet with dentists before your appointment to meet your dentist and discuss your fears, and check reviews to see what other patients have to say. You want to choose a dentist that makes you feel in control and relaxed, so take the time to select a practice carefully.

3. Ask About Your Options

Another great way to feel more in control of your dental experience and alleviate fears is to ask questions! It can feel overwhelming to discuss your options during a short appointment, so prepare questions before your visit. Tell the dentist about your worries, and ask what methods they use for helping anxious patients. When possible, ask if you have more than one option for procedures and treatments. Open communication is key to ensuring your experience is as stress-free as possible.

Visiting the dentist doesn't have to be frightening. Use these methods to retake control of your oral health, without the stress and anxiety. For friendly, patient-focused care in Chandler AZ, contact Aesthetic Family Dental Care today!

Drew Rossell