How to overcome dental phobia


21st Jun 2020 Wellbeing

How to overcome dental phobia

A fear of the dentist is not uncommon for adults. With over half of the UK population experiencing dental anxiety, the problem is well known. Luckily, there are dentists who understand the fear that many face when going for a routine visit.


What Is Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety happens when a patient experiences fear or panic upon visiting a dentist. Like many forms of anxiety, this type can range from mild to severe depending on the patient. In extreme cases, some people refuse to see a dentist which can result in a phobia. Panic attacks and avoidance are not a productive response when taking care of your dental health.

How To Treat Dental Anxiety

Having a dental phobia can be embarrassing to some patients. Because dental care is a routine practice that usually does not involve pain, those who do not experience a fear of dental work can be mystified. Dental phobias or anxiety is not an issue that is based around age. People of any gender or age can experience the nervousness that occurs sometimes days before a routine visit. The first way to approach dental anxiety, is to acknowledge it exists.

If you experience heart palpitations, elevated blood pressure or nausea before visiting a dentist, you may have dental anxiety. Less severe symptoms can include a loss of sleep before the scheduled appointment or feeling suffocated. Ruminating thoughts that are focused on negative consequences can also be indicative of anxiety. By accepting these symptoms, the patient can take control of your future dental experience.

Working With The Right Dentist

Dentists who are familiar with this type of anxiety can work with the patient to find a comfortable solution. By understanding the patient’s specific needs, a dentist has the power to alter visits based around individual comfort level and ease. One option that is frequently provided includes shortening appointment times by breaking one visit into two separate visits. Dentists can also provide a variety of pain management options if there are mouth sensitivity issues preventing a patient from getting the proper treatment.

Disclosing dental fear to a dentist can open up new avenues for successful treatment. For some visits, using headphones with relaxing music may help. Distractions can usually be provided for longer appointments. Depending on the dentist and practice, sedation can also be an option. This can be particularly helpful for those with extreme phobias or who experience severe dental anxiety. Asking for help is crucial when looking for the right kind of support.

Does It Work?

Talking to a dentist about anxiety is the best way for a patient to discover all the options available for help. In most cases, a dentist can work with the patient to make them comfortable throughout the visit so they can receive successful dental treatment.

Visiting the dentist on a regular basis will cut down on the number of potential procedures necessary to keep a mouth healthy and functional. Regular visits are generally short and because they are performed on a routine basis, they usually do not require much work from the dentist. Keeping up with cleanings and basic dental hygiene can make for easier visits involving less stress. As a patient becomes more comfortable visiting the dentist, their appointments generally become shorter as there is no need for extra work. This cyclical effect is a positive for anyone who feels discomfort when visiting the dentist.


Curing a dental phobia or anxiety is not difficult with the right help. By choosing dentists who understand dental fear, the patient is m

uch more likely to have a relaxing visit. When enough appointments are found to be comfortable by the patient, anxiety over future visits dissipates relatively quickly. There’s no need to avoid dental appointments from fear or anxiety. Asking the right questions and divulging the proper information can work wonders for any patient.

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