Overcome Your Fear Of The Dentist

If you're afraid to go to the dentist it might help you to realize that you're not alone. In fact up to 25% of the population has a phobia about visiting the dentist. Many times this phobia develops during childhood after a bad dental experience.

Unfortunately this fear of dental procedures can stop a person from receiving much needed treatment and by the time that they do get treatment teeth and gums can be in very bad shape. Having bad teeth can also affect your overall health infections in neglected teeth can linger for years, these infections can affect the body's ability to heal making you more prone to other types of illness.


overcome your fear of the dentist
overcome your fear of the dentist

Choose Your Dentist Carefully

There are many dental practices that cater to people with phobias so don't be afraid to shop around, and if you don't feel comfortable with a certain practice then cancel your appointment and find another one that suits you better.

Talk to the hygienists and or office staff when making your appointment and be sure to go over any fears and concerns that you may have. This will give you a good idea about their policy towards dealing with customers with dental phobias and help you to decide whether they will work for you or not.

Consider Sedation

Many dentist offer several different sedation options for people who suffer from dental anxiety or fear. This can range anywhere from a pill (Valium) that you can take before your appointment, to laughing gas or even general anesthesia. During your checkup and initial consultation you can visit with the dentist and discuss your options as to which type of sedation might work for you.

Listen to music:
Listening to music is another option that many dental practices offer to help calm nervous patients fears. If your dentist doesn't offer this option you might want to think about bring along your iPod. The music will help to relax and calm you and before you know it everything will be over.

Some things to remember:
As a paying customer it is your right to expect good service, and if for whatever reason a certain dentist is not working out for you then you are well within your rights to find one that does.

Sometimes just realizing that you can always leave if things get too bad may help to relieve some of your stress.

* If any type of sedation is used during your visit you will need to have someone there to drive you home afterwards.

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What is your biggest fear about going to the dentist?

  • I'm scared of needles.
  • I'm afraid that I'll gag.
  • I'm afraid that the dentist will yell at me for not taking better care of my teeth.
  • I'm afraid that it will hurt.
  • I'm scared of the drill.
  • Everything about the dentist scares me.
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Comments 4 comments

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Good hub on how folks worried about dental work can overcome it. Just had some work done that 10 or 15 years ago would have been twice as long and a lot more uncomfortable. The procedure was over quickly and completely painless. Even the big Novocaine shots were barely felt. Dentistry is to the point now where it should never cause someone to fear it to the point they don't get needed work done.


Karen N profile image

Karen N 4 years ago from United States Author

You're right about that Alastar, nobody should be afraid to go to the dentist anymore. Unfortunately fear is a hard thing to get over.


livelonger profile image

livelonger 4 years ago from San Francisco

Great advice! I think listening to music and tuning out (closing my eyes) helps the best. I find answering the dentist's incessant questions while I have 3 implements in my mouth at the time incredibly frustrating - why do dentists do that?! One dentist I saw had some virtual reality goggles, and I was able to watch part of a movie while he cleaned my teeth. That was great - anything that distracts you while sitting in a dentist's chair is welcome!


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 4 years ago from US

Oh I have gone from terror to fearless. I think dentists have become gentler over the years. I guess we can see why though people have actually died from bad teeth!

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