Going to the Dentist? Tips for Overcoming Dental Anxiety


Most people experience some anxiety when it comes time for that dental visit. You can conquer your dental fear by using a few simple tricks to put the thought of going to the dentist into perspective.

Understanding Your Fears

We often feel fear or anxiety and run with it rather than taking the time to analyze the feeling and explore the source or cause of our anxiety or fear. Some individuals have had bad experiences in the dental office. Past experiences color how we look at things in the present moment. Letting go of those types of fears can be incredibly challenging.

Some individuals have not had any bad experiences personally, but they have heard about others’ experiences. These secondhand horror stories can often cause anxiety, especially if you have not been to the dentist before or have had little experience with them personally.

Putting It All in Perspective

When you identify the root of your fear or anxiety, you can work with that and put it into perspective. If you have had a bad experience in the dental office, it is likely that your next appointment will be with a new dentist. Not all dentists are alike, and not all dental practices are the same.

Many of today’s dental teams focus on patient comfort. Dentists and their teams work to ensure that the office environment is conducive to relaxation and calm. Many dental offices provide amenities to help patients relax and feel comfortable. If you have not been to the dentist in an exceptionally long time, you may be surprised at how pleasant a visit to the dentist can be now.

If your fear and anxiety are due to the stories you have heard, realize that those are just stories. Your experience will most likely be very different from other people’s experiences. People often give inaccurate or exaggerated information about their experience because so many factors feed into the actual event.

This type of fear arises when a specific procedure, such as root canal therapy, is being discussed. You can help alleviate your fears and anxieties by having a conversation with your dentist about the procedure. Ask questions and get the information you need, so you know what to expect during your visit.

Let’s Talk About It

Anxious feelings and fears can often be alleviated or minimized by discussing them with your dentist. Let your dentist and the dental team know about your specific concerns. Share your feelings with them so they can address your questions. The dental team will provide the care you need in the best way possible.

You and your dentist can devise a signal system to let the dentist know when you need to take a break. Talk to your dentist about your pain threshold before the procedure begins. Discuss how you can communicate with the dentist during the procedure.

Imagine the Perfect Experience

Imagination can make a trip to the dentist an ordeal before you even leave home. It can also help you have a very positive experience. Use breathing exercises to help calm your nerves. Imagine the perfect, most relaxing experience possible in the dental chair. If you concentrate on calm, restful thoughts, your visit to the dentist will be an incredibly positive one.

Dr. Nishan Halim and his dental team are committed to providing patients with positive dental office experiences. Get in touch today to schedule your visit with us.

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