How To Get Over Fear of the Dentist

by Power Road Dental Care

How To Get Over Fear of the Dentist

Reviewed By Dr. Tyler N Davis, DMD

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Dental phobia (or dental anxiety) is a common problem that keeps many people from receiving the necessary dental care they need. This fear can stem from a variety of factors, such as a bad experience or even stories heard from others. 

The good news is that there are effective techniques to help you conquer your fear and regain control of your oral health.

In this blog, we talk about dental fear. Many people have gone their whole lives without going to the dentist because of dental phobia or fear! Learn techniques to prepare for your visit to the dentist.

Key Takeaway

You can overcome dental fear and anxiety when you understand your fear. Identify triggers and work to overcome them. Choose a dentist that you feel comfortable with. Ask questions so that you understand exactly what will happen. Communicate your fears. Learn coping strategies such as deep breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation.

Understanding Your Dental Fears

Before you can overcome your fear, it’s important to identify what specifically triggers it. Common causes include:

  • Fear of pain: The anticipation of pain during dental procedures is a major cause of dental phobia.
  • Fear of needles: Injections and the use of dental tools can be frightening for some.
  • Loss of control: Feeling helpless or vulnerable in the dental chair can be overwhelming.
  • Negative experiences: A traumatic or painful experience at the dentist can create lasting fear.
  • Embarrassment about oral health: Some people feel ashamed about the state of their teeth and gums.

Preparing for Your Dental Visit

  1. Choose the right dentist: Look for a dental practice known for its gentle approach and patient care. Read online reviews, ask for recommendations, or schedule a consultation to get a feel for the dentist and their team.
  2. Communicate your fears: Be open and honest with your dentist about your anxiety. They can tailor their approach to your specific needs and offer solutions to make you more comfortable.
  3. Ask questions: Don’t hesitate to ask about the procedures, instruments, or medications used during your treatment. Knowledge can empower you and alleviate anxiety.
  4. Develop a signal: Agree on a hand signal or other non-verbal cue with your dentist to let them know if you need a break or are feeling uncomfortable.

Coping Strategies During Your Visit

  • Bring distractions: Listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts through headphones to help you relax and focus on something other than the dental procedure.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation can help reduce anxiety and promote calmness.
  • Consider sedation dentistry: If your fear is severe, ask your dentist about sedation options. At Power Road Dental Care we use nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and/or oral sedation. These can help you feel more relaxed during treatment.

Long-Term Solutions for Overcoming Dental Phobia

  • Behavioral therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you identify and change negative thought patterns related to dental visits.
  • Gradual exposure: Start with less invasive procedures and gradually work up to more complex treatments. It can help desensitize you to the dental environment.

Practical Tips for Your Dental Visit

  1. Schedule morning appointments: Early appointments can prevent your anxiety from building up throughout the day. At Power Road Dental Care you can schedule an appointment as early as 7 am.
  2. Bring a friend or family member: Invite a supportive person with you who can provide comfort and reassurance.
  3. Wear comfortable clothing: Being physically comfortable can help you reduce overall stress levels.

Overcome Your Dental Anxiety With Power Road Dental Care

Overcoming dental fear is important for maintaining good oral health and preventing serious dental issues.

We are committed to providing a supportive environment to help you manage your dental phobia and ensure that your dental visits are as comfortable as possible. Don’t let fear hold you back from achieving a healthy smile.

If you are in the East Valley and looking for a ‘dentist in Mesa, AZ’ we can help! To book an appointment, call (480) 664-1438 or complete the online booking form.

In our next blog, we will be talking about dental sealants. Stay tuned for more information on how dental sealants work, their benefits, and why they might be a great option for your smile 😊 


How common is dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety is quite common, affecting a significant number of individuals across various age groups. Studies suggest that approximately 36% of the population experience dental anxiety, with a further 12% suffering from extreme dental fear.

Will a dentist judge me?

No, a professional and compassionate dentist will not judge you. Dentists are trained to understand and respect their patients’ fears and concerns. Their primary goal is to help you achieve and maintain good oral health in a comfortable and supportive environment

Why do I have a huge fear of the dentist?

Common reasons include past traumatic or painful dental experiences, a general fear of pain or needles, lack of control while in the dental chair, and even hearing negative stories from others.

Schedule an Appointment

Get Started Today

Ready to take the next step in achieving a healthy, beautiful smile? Let us help you achieve the best smile possible! Get started today and take that first step towards a happier, healthier smile.

Skip to content