Dread the Dentist? 5 Ways to Make Your Next Visit a Breeze

If you dislike going to the dentist, you’re not alone. More than 60% of people have some form of fear or anxiety about going to the dentist, and the reasons vary. For example, most people are afraid of pain and needles, while others want to avoid the smell of chemicals and the sound of a drill.

Some people are afraid of being stuck in the dental chair, getting anesthesia that doesn’t work, having to hold their mouth open for long periods of time, and others are just afraid of receiving a large bill.

Regardless of your personal reasons for feeling anxious or fearful about visiting the dentist, there are ways to make the experience easier.

1. Do your Research

The most important thing you can do is identify exactly why you’re dreading a visit to the dentist. Is it the pain? Do you feel uncomfortable with the sensation of having your teeth scraped? Do the noises and lights bother you? Are you just uncomfortable with unfamiliar settings?

Pinpoint your fears first. Then, do some research to find a dental clinic that offers services specifically designed to alleviate those fears. For example, if being sedated is all you need to feel comfortable, find a local dental clinic that offers sedation and actively works to alleviate patient anxiety.

If your main issues are sensory, then search for a sensory-friendly dentist in your area. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how many dental clinics are attentive to individual patient needs rather than having a one-size-fits-all approach.

2. If Your Anxiety is Severe, Ask for Sedation

Source: yourdentistryguide.com

If your dentist doesn’t offer, ask about sedation. They might not know you need it for simple or routine procedures that don’t usually cause pain. People request sedation for all kinds of reasons, whether it’s to avoid pain, ease sensory issues, or alleviate the anxiety that comes from a long dental visit.

However, local anesthetics will increase your bill, so keep that in mind. You can always request a quote ahead of time so there are no surprises.

3. Visit the Dental Clinic Ahead of Time

If your anxiety comes from being in unfamiliar places and you feel more comfortable knowing exactly where you’re going beforehand, visit the clinic you have in mind to see what it’s like.

You’ll get a good idea of the parking situation, how to find the office if it’s in a large business park or office suite, and you’ll get a chance to feel out the environment to know if you might need specific accommodations for sensory issues.

While you’re there, you can ask the staff questions about anything, including how long your visit might take, how the billing works, and anything else you want to know.

4. Don’t Let Your Past Control Your Future

Source: auroradentist.com

After a bad experience with a dentist, it can be difficult to trust someone again. This is a common reason people fear the dentist, and it’s justified. However, the past won’t necessarily be repeated with another dentist. Being willing to try again with a new dentist can really help to improve your oral health and ensure you get the dental care you need.

Working with a licensed therapist is another option for helping you reframe your experience in a way that opens you up to new possibilities and experiences. Seeing a therapist for your dental anxiety can be especially beneficial if you urgently need dental care.

5. Get Recommendations From Others in Your Situation

Chances are, you’re not the only person in your area who has dental anxiety. Try posting on your favorite social media platform to ask if any of your connections can recommend a good dentist for someone with your particular concerns and fears. There’s bound to be someone out there who can tell you about a good experience they had with a local dentist.

Source: newtowndentalcare.co.uk

Easing Your Fears Will Help You Get the Dental Care You Need

When dental procedures are optional, like with cosmetic dentistry, there’s no real pressure to work through your fears. However, when you need emergency dental work or just need to get into a routine for regular cleanings and check-ups, that is great motivation to address your fears and find a way to ease your concerns.

Everyone’s situation is different, so what works for others may not work for you. The key is to try different things until you find a solution. If all you need are some simple accommodations, an understanding dentist will take good care of you. Otherwise, sedation is always an option if there’s no other workable solution.

Kantar Anita
Kantar Anita

I am Anita Kantar, a seasoned content editor at websta.me. As the content editor, I ensure that each piece of content aligns seamlessly with the company's overarching goals. Outside of my dynamic role at work, I am finding joy and fulfillment in a variety of activities that enrich my life and broaden my horizons. I enjoy immersing myself in literature and spending quality time with my loved ones. Also, with a passion for lifestyle, travel, and culinary arts, I bring you a unique blend of creativity and expertise to my work.