Dental Anxiety: A Common Problem
If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. Dental anxiety affects millions of people, causing them to avoid seeing a dentist until it’s absolutely necessary. In some cases, dental anxiety is so severe they avoid the dentist altogether (known as “dental phobia”). There are many reasons a person might suffer from dental anxiety, such as past negative experiences, fear of pain, or just generally feeling nervous about dental treatment. If your fear of the dentist is keeping you from getting the treatment you need, we have some tips to help make you more comfortable during your visit.
Reduce Your Anxiety
Share your fears.
This is the most important thing you can do to help manage your dental anxiety. Before you start any treatment, talk to the dentists and dental staff about your concerns. As a healthcare professional, your dentist is trained to treat patients with anxiety. They can often adapt your appointment to your needs, such as offering nitrous oxide to help you relax.
Some other tips to help reduce your dental anxiety:
- Try to make your appointment during a time when you won’t feel rushed or under pressure by other obligations.
- Wear headphones. Your favorite music can help you relax, especially if the sound of the drill makes you nervous.
- Focus on your breathing. When we’re nervous we sometimes hold our breath. Focus on taking deep measured breaths to help ease anxiety.
- Visualize. Close your eyes and try to picture yourself lying on a warm beach, or any place that you find peaceful and relaxing.
Dental anxiety is a real problem that causes millions of people to avoid seeing a dentist. Don’t let your fear keep you from getting the treatment you need. By talking to your dentist about your fears, and using these tips at your next appointment, you can manage your anxiety and improve your dental health.
Community Dental—Gentle, Safe, Comprehensive Dental CareOur approach is to work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan designed to improve and maintain your good dental health through preventive and restorative services. We participate with Mainecare as well as many dental insurance plans, and offer a sliding fee for eligible patients. We offer walk-in appointments during business hours for dental emergencies. We treat all ages, so your whole family can become established patients with us. Good oral health care is an important aspect of your overall health. Contact us today or give us a call—we have several locations throughout the state and look forward to your visit!
Date Last Modified: February 3, 2016
Why am I anxious in the dental office? Academy of General Dentistry.
Dental anxiety. American Dental Association.