Dental Fear: Understanding and Overcoming It

Dental Fear: Understanding and Overcoming It

Dental Fear: Understanding and Overcoming It

Dental fear is a fear of visiting the dentist or a fear of dental procedures. Dental fear is quite common, affecting millions of people around the world.

Understanding Dental Fear And Its Causes

A lot of people have some form of dental anxiety. This fear is very real, and patients can experience it in different ways. One patient may put off their visit to the dentist for years or avoid treatment altogether. Another may find that they take sleeping pills to help them sleep the night before their appointment. Still, others may feel embarrassed or even guilty about their fear and would rather suffer in silence than seek help from a dentist. These fears can be caused by any combination of factors. They may include fear of pain, fear of embarrassment, fear of loss of control, fear of being out of control, fear of needles, fear of losing control in someone else’s hands, fear of social judgment, fear of germs, fear of helplessness, and even fear of death for some dental procedures. Many patients are not even aware of what they are afraid of; they simply know that they have anxiety and that they would rather not go to the dentist. Talking to your dentist about your fears and concerns can help you to better understand the causes of this anxiety and to find ways to manage or eliminate it. Here are the common causes of dental anxiety.

  • Unpleasant past experience at the dentist’s clinic
  • Pain caused by dental care procedure
  • Embarrassment for having poor dental health
  • Anxiety caused by the feeling of helplessness or vulnerability during a treatment
  • Fear of needles and injection
  • Fear of discomfort and pain
  • High cost of dental treatments

How To Ease Dental Anxiety?

Here are some things you can do to ease your dental fears before your next visit.

  • Discuss your fears with the dentist

If you have never been to see a dentist before, you may be anxious about what to expect once you get there. Talk to your dentist about the steps involved in your appointment. Find out how long the appointment will be and what types of treatments you will be receiving. Ask any questions you may have about what will happen during the procedure. If you know that you will be getting a local anesthesia shot to numb the pain prior to a procedure, ask if you can sit in a dental chair that has a television to watch while you receive the shot. Knowing the details in advance will help you feel more in control and less anxious when you come into the office.

If you have severe dental anxiety, talk to your dentist about what forms of sedation are available in the office. Some dental practices can do traditional IV sedation, while others may offer mild oral sedation in the form of anti-anxiety medication taken prior to the appointment. Sed

  • Agree on a signal.

Prior to any procedure, it is best to agree on a signal that will let your dentist know that you feel discomfort during the procedure. Whether you are feeling pain or discomfort due to the use of anesthesia or any other reason, let the staff know right away using a signal so that they can stop the procedure immediately to prevent any issues.

  • Take a friend or relative along for support.

Having someone come with you during your dental procedures can help calm you down. This person can also offer moral support and distract you from your worries during the procedure. Knowing that someone is by your side can also help ease your fears and make your experience more comfortable.

  • Bring a distraction.

When feeling nervous, it helps to bring something to distract your mind from your concerns, such as a book, magazine, music player, or anything else to keep yourself busy. You can also bring headphones to listen to your favorite music to help pass the time. This will help keep you at ease during your visit to the dental office. You can also practice relaxation methods such as deep breathing, visualization, and other relaxation techniques.

  • Consider sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry is a great option for those who are afraid of undergoing dental treatments. You can discuss all your options with your dentist prior to treatment to see if sedation is right for you. Make sure you choose an experienced and reliable dentist for this treatment to ensure optimal results. 

Please reach out to our dental practice in Pleasanton, CA, to have a consultation with our dentist in Pleasanton, CA. Please call us at (925) 600-9006 or schedule an online consultation, and we’ll guide you further.


173 Spring St #110,
Pleasanton, CA 94566

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MON - WED9:00 am - 5:00 pm


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SAT8:30 am - 2:30 pm