Getting Over Dentist Anxiety And Fear

If you are someone that wants to improve their smile or needs dental work done but you have a total fear of visiting the dentist, you have come to the right place. It is common to fear the dentist, just like worrying in doctors waiting rooms and hospitals. 

Don’t panic about your next appointment at the dentist, as this post will help you reduce your fear and feel more at ease whenever you need a checkup or treatment. 

Follow these steps to reduce your dentist fears and anxiety.

dentist performing a dental process

Seek the best dental practitioners in your area

You don’t have to stick with a dental practitioner if they are not reassuring for your anxiety or do not make you feel at ease. If you think that your dentist’s attitude towards your stress could be improved, or you want someone with greater dental experience, there is no harm in seeking better dental practitioners in your area. Or, you could commit to traveling further if it feels right for you. 

For instance, you might fear the dentist so much that you would prefer to be sedated during procedures. Hence, getting treatment from an expert sedation dentistry practice will ensure that you will be in the best hands when you have to go under for your treatment. It can be scary to be sedated. 

But, it is sometimes advised so that the patient can be as comfortable as possible during the procedure. Or some patients might prefer not to be present due to fear of dental tools, noises, and discomfort. Either way, ensuring you seek the best people for the job will make you feel comfortable before, during, and after the procedure, reducing your dentist anxiety.

Take someone with you

If you fear going alone to the appointments – as sometimes the waiting room can be the worst part – there is no harm in taking someone with you. Having someone by your side can help with your dentist’s anxiety as they can comfort and support you. You will have someone to distract you and step in if your fear and anxiety take over.

They might not always be able to come into the dental room with you. Yet, they might be able to if you ask politely or in advance (and let the dental practitioner know about your fear). If they cannot come into the room, having them in the waiting room can be comforting and assuring enough to ease your anxiety. 

Find a dentist who understands your concerns

A dentist must understand your concerns for the sake of your comfort. Hence, if your dentist does not understand your problems, find someone who does. 

There will be plenty of dentists out there that will help you feel at ease during your appointments. It would be best if you always voiced your concerns before you continue treatment with them so that they are aware. Plus, expressing your concerns before you commit to using them as your dentist will help you see if they will be comforting enough for you. 

They might show comfort and support from the get-go, proving they are a great dentist to support your anxiety.

Breathing techniques and mindfulness

Practicing mindful techniques before, during, and after your appointment can help ease your stress and worry. Breathing techniques, listening to a podcast, or meditating might help to diminish your anxiety or at least help to reduce it. 

Breathing and meditating can help you focus on the present and avoid thinking about what is ahead. Simply breathing slowly and mindfully can lessen your palpitations and help you feel more settled before the appointment. You could practice this at home or even in the waiting room. 

When you feel anxiety rise, remember to take yourself out of the situation and focus on your breathing to calm yourself down. 

Go early in the day

Waiting around all day for an appointment will not help your anxiety. Therefore, getting an appointment as soon and as early as possible should help to ease your worry. 

Instead of working all day and working yourself up about the appointment, you could go first thing and get it out of the way. This will ensure you do not have to worry all day and stress yourself out for no reason. 

Letting your dentist know about your anxiety will encourage them to provide you with the soonest and earliest appointment to cater to your needs. 

cheerful dentist and patient

Take a distraction

If you cannot or do not want to take someone with you to the appointment, it is a good idea to take a distraction. Everyone has different distraction preferences, so ensure to take someone that you know will help to take your mind off of things. 

Some ideas include:

  • A magazine
  • A book
  • A podcast
  • Your favorite music
  • A game
  • A video on your phone
  • Work
  • A toy

Having something to focus on (other than the appointment) will help to settle your nerves when in the waiting room. 

Ask for in-depth details about the appointment

If your dentist appointment entails something other than a checkup, you might want to ask for more accurate details of what the appointment will involve. Although it might not be great to know there will be a painful few minutes and some injections, it can be better to know what to expect so that you do not panic when the procedure is being done.

Knowing what is ahead can allow you to prepare yourself and feel more at ease when the occurrences go ahead in the treatment room. 

Your dentist is obliged to spare all of the details you ask for. They cannot always guarantee whether or not the procedure will be smooth. But they can tell you everything that will happen for your own benefit. If you would prefer not to know, ensure not to ask and avoid researching before the treatment date.

Taking these tips on board, you should hopefully be able to feel more at ease whenever you have a dentist appointment coming up.  

Last Updated on October 25, 2022

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