Dental Phobia – 5 Tips To Overcome Your Fear Of The Dentist

Dental Phobia


One of the most common reasons that people don’t visit the dentist is because they have an overwhelming fear of the dentist. The fear can extend to several things that are associated with dentists. Dental phobia can be related to a fear of medical professionals and a fear of needles. As with any type of phobia, it can present as quite mild up to quite serious. The real concern, from a dental wellness standpoint, is that neglecting your oral health can result in some serious health issues that extend beyond dental.

At Billings Denture Clinic, we offer a warm and welcoming environment. With dental professionals who understand the needs of each patient, particularly those who live with dental anxiety.

What Could Be Responsible For Your Dental Phobia?

Dental anxiety can leave you feeling quite panic-stricken. Intellectually you may be very aware that your fears are irrational, but you will feel unable to do much to address it. Those with dental phobia will typically go to great lengths to avoid a visit to the dentist, until forced to by intense pain. There are a number of factors that could be contributing to your fear of dentist phobia.

  • Having a fear of pain is perhaps the most common reason for people to avoid the dentist. This fear quite often stems from a painful experience in the past. It can even be as the result of hearing harrowing dental tales from others.
  • A fear of needles can be responsible for your anxiety, and is also quite common. After all, it is bad enough to consider needles in your arms or legs. Needles in your mouth can have the potential for creating a fair amount of concern.
  • Experiencing a loss of control can be quite disconcerting for some, and may also result in a panic attack.
  • Embarrassment about the condition of your teeth may be contributing to your anxiety, particularly if you have lost several teeth and have advanced decay.
  • Some patients may feel that they could choke or have difficulty breathing while they are numb, or while the dentist is working on their teeth and gums.
  • The sounds and smells associated with a dental office can be particularly triggering for those who may have had previous negative experiences. The sound of the drill, in particular, can be concerning.

Our team of dental professionals have extensive experience treating individuals who have a fear of dentist offices and of the dentist. The right office environment, and the right compassionate dental professionals, can help you to better cope with your extreme dental phobia.

Tip 1. Start Off And Slow Easy

When it comes to addressing anxiety and a phobia, it is not always the right course of action for every patient to dive right into the deep end. For others, starting slow is the better way of addressing a fear of the dentist. Begin perhaps with a visit to the office for dental X-rays. This is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that dentists use to determine the type of treatment that patients can best benefit from. Not only will this be a good start to your dental experience, but it will give you the opportunity to explore the office without the pressure of an upcoming treatment or procedure.

Tip 2. Trained Mental Health Treatment

If your fear of the dentist is severe, and even paralyzing, it is suggested that you consult with a therapist that can offer cognitive behavioral therapy and other coping strategies. Once your phobia is at a level considered manageable, you could have that first dental visit. Remember that dentistry today is quite different than what you may have experienced in the past.

Tip 3. Skip Conversations With Others

Certainly it can be helpful to be open and honest with those around you, but when it comes to dental anxiety it may not be wise. Many folks may find that this is their opportunity to share with you each negative experience that they have had. This is rarely helpful for someone who already suffers from a debilitating fear of the dentist.

Tip 4. Bringing Music Or Podcasts

If you have music or a podcast that you find relaxing, be sure to bring it with you to your appointment. This will allow you to unwind and focus on something else that you enjoy, while the dentist addresses your concerns.

Tip 5. Communicate With Your Dentist

When you call to make your initial appointment, be sure to mention that you have dental phobia. The more that you communicate with your dentist and other dental professionals, the better assistance options will be available to you. As an example, some medications can be prescribed so that you can take them prior to your appointment. Communicate every step of the way, and be your own advocate. This will allow each of your needs to be addressed while you are getting the valuable dental care that you need.

If you are ready to start your dental wellness journey, call Billings Denture Clinic to get started.

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