Fear of Dentists

I have a huge fear of dentists, but I know that I need to get my teeth fixed rather than waiting until it is too late.
My dentist told me I should get an aligner but I am nervous to go back.
Does anyone have any tips or tricks to curb anxiety before a visit to the dentist?

As with any anxiety, there are methods to help manage it. Here are some suggestions:
Some coping techniques that can assist some individuals include:

  • deep breathing
  • meditation
  • distraction (such as listening to music or the use of screens)
  • guided imagery
  • progressive muscle relaxation
  • hypnosis.

Make sure your dentist knows that you are experiencing anxiety so that he can take measures to help you relax and put you at ease.

I had the same problem when I was a teenager. One day I had a very bad toothache and there was no other way to treat it aside from going to the dentist. I reluctantly had an appointment even though I was so anxious. Some tips that proved effective for me are:

  • Looking for a distraction (I listened to music that calms me before and during the procedure)

  • Doing proper research into finding a dentist that you are comfortable with. You can request to meet the dentist prior to having work done so you can comfortable with the dentist.

  • Meditation or thinking positively about the outcome of appointment

Fortunately, the dentist I went to was specially trained in handling fearful patients. She explained the variety of methods and treatments that are available to reduce pain and alleviate my fear. At the end of my appointment I didn’t realize it was already done. I hope you had the same experience as mine.

If you are anxious tell your dentist and the staff. Informing them of your fears beforehand will help them adapt the treatment to your fears and needs. Avoiding coffee or other caffeinated drinks before your dental appointment would also help. Coffee might cause jitters and make you more anxious during the procedure. Also, choose appointments that are early in the morning since it is more stress-free comparing to afternoon schedules.

Trust your dental professional. :blush: Talk to them about your anxiety before your dental appointment. If you have good rapport with them hopefully you can loosen up.

My grandson was afraid of dentists when he was kid. He’s doing better now. I always accompanied him when he went to the dentist and he would just cry for what feels like hours. I feel so embarrassed but the dentist we went to always handled him well. The dentist was so gentle with him. I suggest you find someone who you are comfortable with.

Getting your aligners is painless. They would only get an impression of your teeth and that’s it.

I am in need of a check-up from a dentist. My last consultation was 3 years ago. I only went there because my tooth was extremely painful. I also have a hard time calming myself whenever I think of going to the dentist’s clinic.

Doing meditation before going to your dentist might help. It helped for me.

Talk to your provider or dentist before your appointment. Your dentist might be able to help you when you voice out your concerns.

After a long time of weighing the pros and cons, I decided to just book an appointment. I watch videos of dentists working so I could have peace of mind that they’re doing their job well. As the day of my appointment comes nearer, I am getting calmer of the idea of me going there to have my oral cavity checked.

Agree on a signal with your dentist. Many are afraid that the dentist will not know they are in pain during the appointment. The best way to prevent this is to agree on a stop signal. The most common is raising the hand.

This advice is great to curb anxiety during your appointment.

I also had severe anxiety when I was a kid. I was a naughty kid and my parents would discipline me by scaring me that they will bring me to the dentist. That’s when my anxiety started. All of my baby teeth were badly broken and I had an infection that made my cheeks swell. I couldn’t eat for days. My dentist let me take medicine for a week before I had to go back for extraction. On the day of my appointment, the extraction didn’t take long. And I thought that wasn’t so bad. I was just conditioned to fear dentists because my parents always scare me with “we’ll go to the dentist if you behave badly.” So what I’m saying is try to condition your mind that your dentist will help you with your oral health. It’s important that you find the right dentist for you. You should be comfortable with your dentist. That’s the first step in curbing your anxiety. Good luck :smile:

My appointment is a week from now. I’ve talked to the secretary but I haven’t talked to the dentist yet. I hope I’ll get comfortable with her.

Most anxiety or fear of dentists really root from childhood trauma. Sometimes the anxiety of parents passes on their children.

Most of the time, parents tell their children that when they do something wrong, they will be punished by going to the dentist.

That’s true. All parents should learn how not to scare their children by scaring them.

There are also researches stating that an irregular attendance pattern is closely associated with having anxiety.