Happiness is your dentist telling you it won't hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill.

                                                                                                                              ~ Johnny Carson


Many people who have dental anxiety about getting work done, or just simply in going to a dentist makes them feel phobic, feel all alone out there. When they voice their fears, they are treated as “silly” or pushed  into an all-inclusive lump called “Everyone hates going to the dentist.”

Behind the phobia of dental anxiety are some irrational fears, and these fears can be debilitating, and enervating. We all recognize the wisdom behind dental health, so, hopefully, this is the time for you to do something about these fears. If you are reading this article because you recognize that you need to, you have begun the process of healing your fears. You might also consider looking up dental anxiety on the internet for more information.

Finding the right dentist

You’ll need to work with a dentist who naturally sets you at ease in his or her presence. And be sure that when you get your teeth cleaned there, that you also approve of the hygienist.  Both are important.  As you build a relationship with the dentist and the hygienist, your fears will begin to decrease.  If you think your dentist is too stern, find another one.

Understanding What Your Fears Are

I’ll provide a list here for you so you can check off what really triggers you. You can share this list with your dental team and ask them to be sensitive to what you fear. This list is not all of the fears some have felt, but it might help you become aware of your own. Please add to the list.

  • Not being told what’s going on.
  • Being told what’s going on.
  • Being scolded for the condition of your teeth.
  • Having to take x-rays.
  • Not being able to afford extensive treatment.
  • Being told I’ve let a condition go for too long.
  • Hearing the dentist calling out numbers.
  • Fear you won’t be able to breathe.
  • Fear of the drill and the pain it can cause.
  • Accidental pain.
  • Intentional pain.


Go to the dentist regularly

As your dental team work with your teeth, you’ll also become more familiar with their dental procedures, and this will diminish the fear also.  Ask them to explain what they are going to do in the day’s procedure before they do it, and as they are doing it. Sometimes, lack of familiarity with the dental procedures creates more fear, which in turn creates more pain. Don’t be afraid to talk with them prior to your treatment. They are familiar with folks who have dental anxiety.


Do Some Research

Dental work, like all other industries, is rapidly changing technologically.  Do your research to see what is the latest and greatest pain-free treatment, and find a dentist who uses this technology. Be informing yourself through research, you can lesson your dental anxiety. It might even be time for you to make that appointment you’ve procrastinated about for too long.



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