Here’s What to Do if You’re Scared of the Dentist

About 50-80% of American adults suffer from dental anxiety. If you’re one of those people, then you’re not alone in this. Visiting the dentist can cause anxiety for a few different reasons. 

Some adults may fear the unknown from failing to visit the dentist on a regular basis. Others might fear the pain associated with dental visits or the loud noises the dental tools create. Whatever the reason is that’s causing you to be scared of the dentist, there’s still hope. 

Being afraid of the dentist isn’t unusual and there are several ways to reduce your dental fear and ensure you have an enjoyable experience each and every time. Continue reading this guide to learn more!

Inform Your Dentist About Your Fears/Concerns

The first step to overcoming your dental fears is knowing what’s at the root of them. What’s causing you to be so anxious about visiting the dentist? Your first thought might be you haven’t visited in a long time and aren’t sure what to expect but try to dig further. 

Did you have an unpleasant experience in the past? Were you told a horror story by a friend or family member? Write down all of your fears and concerns and then discuss them with your dentist. 

Your dentist will be able to offer you some insight on your up-and-coming appointment and what to expect from future visits as well. Your dentist will also be able to discuss all of these fears and concerns with you and create a plan to help reduce them. 

Schedule an Office Tour/Consultation

To help put your mind at ease, you can schedule an office tour and consultation. When you’ve never been to a dentist’s office before, going there for the first time and having a procedure done can feel overwhelming. Instead, schedule to tour the office and speak with the dentist before your first appointment. 

Get a feel for the office environment and staff. Then, come prepared with a list of questions to ask your dentist. This is also a good time to voice any concerns you might have.

Ask the dentist to provide you with proof of dential education/training and licensing. When you leave the office, you should feel much better about your up-and-coming appointment. 

Schedule an Early-Bird Appointment

When you’re ready to schedule your appointment, make sure to schedule it for the morning. It’s best to schedule morning appointments when feeling anxious because it’ll help reduce some of that anxiety. If you schedule an afternoon appointment, then there’s a good chance you’ll spend the entire morning worrying about your appointment. 

To eliminate that stress, get the appointment done as soon as possible. Be sure to practice some meditation in the morning before your appointment as well. 

Bring a Friend or Family Member With You

You don’t have to tackle your dental fears alone. Don’t hesitate to bring a friend or family member with you. This person is there for support and can wait with you in the lobby and even sit in a chair next to you during your appointment. 

Think of someone who’d be a good support system for you and bring them along. The simple thought of having someone familiar by your side can help reduce your anxiety. 

Come Prepared With Headphones

Going to the dentist can be relaxing if you come prepared with the right tools. If the loud noise from the dental tools is what bothers you, then bring a pair of headphones along with you. Listen to music or watch movies on your phone while the dentist cleans your teeth or performs the dental procedure. 

When you put your headphones in and close your eyes, you can escape the dentist’s office and take your mind someplace else. Let your dentist know you’ll have your headphones in so the two of you can create a hand signal to use for various reasons. 

Ask About Dental Sedation

A dental sedation service is beneficial for many adults who suffer from dental anxiety. If you have extreme dental fears or anxiety, then dental sedation could be a great solution. Depending on how bad your anxiety is, you might benefit from mild, moderate, or deep dental sedation.

There’s an option for everyone that will help you relax during your dental visits. Discuss the different types of dental sedation offered by your dentist to determine which type is the best for you. 

Become Familiar With the Dental Tools

Let’s face it, there are lots of scary dental tools that we’re not sure what they’re used for or what they do. We know they look painful and some are quite loud. When you’re fearful of the dental tools and if they’ll cause you pain, it’s important to speak with your dentist about them. 

Let your dentist explain what each tool is and what it does. This will help eliminate some of those fears and make you feel more comfortable. 

Research a Reputable Dentist Near You

When you take your time choosing a reputable dentist near you, you can have some peace of mind. Do your research and don’t pick a dentist until you’ve narrowed down all of your options. Read reviews, gather referrals and references, check their educational and training background, ask for proof of licenses and insurance, and conduct an interview with the dentist. 

When you take your time finding a great dentist, you’ll have a much more enjoyable experience. 

You Don’t Have to Be Scared of the Dentist 

Being scared of the dentist is now a thing of the past! Review all of the tips listed in this guide above to help you find the path to a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable dentist experience. Remember, you’re not alone and your dentist will know how to help you cope with this anxiety.

Together, you and your dentist will come up with a treatment plan that works well for you and helps eliminate those dental fears. To find more topics similar to this one, continue to check back here on a daily basis.