How to Get Over Fear of Dentist

A 2013 study found that approximately 36% of the population are living with dental anxiety, while an additional 12% struggle with extreme dental fears. There are often various reasons for a person’s dental phobia, which could stem from a painful experience or a fear of pain.

It is, however, crucial to attend regular dental appointments to protect the health of your teeth and gums. To ensure you feel comfortable in a dental chair, read the below advice on how to get over your fear of the dentist.

Identify Why You’re Afraid of the Dentist

Dental phobia is surprisingly common and can prevent people from all walks of life from booking an appointment. It is, however, essential to identify the root cause of the problem, so you will feel comfortable the next time you sit in a dental chair.

Common causes of fear and anxiety often include a bad experience, such as a painful procedure or poor communication from a dentist. If this is the case, you would be wise to attend a reputable, caring dentist, who will make you feel at ease during an oral health exam, teeth cleaning, or when performing various dental procedures, such as sealants or a root canal.

Another cause of dental phobia could be due to an indirect experience. For example, you might feel anxious at the thought of a dental appointment after hearing about a loved ones’ traumatic experience or watching a negative portrayal of a procedure on TV. If so, it might help to visit the dentist to discuss your fears and each process, which could provide you with confidence to book an appointment for a full oral health exam.

Anxiety could also be a consequence of a traumatic experience in a medical setting, such as in a doctor’s practice or hospital. For instance, a smell associated with medical care or a fear of seeing any form of a doctor could prevent you from attending an appointment. It is, however, essential to remember that a dentist will take every step possible to make you feel comfortable in a dental chair and improve your oral health.

A loss of control could also be another reason why you’re afraid of the dentist. For example, you might dread the thought of sitting with your mouth wide open with no idea what’s happening. It could also cause you to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. If this is a concern, talk about your dental fears with your dentist. If they know the root cause of your anxiety, they will know the different ways to make you feel comfortable. For instance, they could explain to you about the actions they will take at each stage of dental work. As a result, you will feel more in control and can mentally prepare yourself.

Common Dental Anxiety Signs

While many people living with anxiety might fail to book an oral health exam, there are other common signs that you could be living with a dental phobia, such as:

  • Insomnia the night before a dental appointment
  • Feeling physically ill or emotional at the thought of a visit to the dentist or a procedure
  • A feeling of nervousness that will build while in the dental office’s waiting room
  • A discomfort or breathlessness the moment a dental object is placed inside your mouth

It’s for this reason why a qualified, friendly Asheville dentist here at Biltmore Avenue will take the time to discuss any fears, so they can alleviate your concerns and make you feel as comfortable as possible during all dental procedures.

The Use of Hand Signals

Regardless of the reason behind your dental phobia, it is essential to book an appointment to resolve any problems and improve the health of your teeth and gums. In addition to talking to your dentist about your fears and worries, you might feel at ease to know that many dentists encourage their patients to use hand signals when they want them to stop any dental work.

For example, they might recommend raising your hand when you feel distressed or uncomfortable. As a result, they can halt a procedure to provide you with time to catch your breath, find a comfortable position, and even rinse your mouth.

Why You Should Never Neglect Your Oral Health

Many people living with dental anxiety might only attend a dental appointment when a problem reaches an advanced stage. For example, they might seek treatment when struggling with a toothache, a gum abscess, or tooth loss.

A bad experience or anxiety disorder might lead to you fearing dental visits, but you shouldn’t allow it to stand in the way of your oral health. If you find a dentist that cares about making their patients feel relaxed from the moment they step inside their office, all your worries and concerns could soon melt away.

Unfortunately, there could be many negative consequences for neglecting your oral health. For example, it could lead to:

  • Toothache
  • Tooth loss
  • Gum disease
  • Oral cancer

Your oral health can also affect your overall health, as bad dental hygiene has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and pregnancy complications.

Visit Our Caring, Friendly Dental Office

Okay with going to the dentist

We understand that many patients will struggle with fear and anxiety when attending a dental appointment. For this reason, we will do everything in our power to ensure you have a relaxed experience from the moment you step inside our office.

To make our patients feel at ease, we provide TVs that feature Netflix in every room. Plus, we allow patients to bring noise-canceling headphones and music with them, which could drown out the sound of various tools, such as the drill.

Plus, we can use Oraqix, a topical anesthesia, which can be applied to make a patient feel comfortable during each cleaning. Our small dental office also means you’ll get to know the same familiar and friendly faces at each appointment, so you will feel at ease during each visit.

If you would like to finally overcome your fear of the dentist, call our friendly, helpful team today on (828) 216-9531 (Monday to Friday 8 am – 5 pm) or email