Top Tips for Beating Dental Phobia

Top Tips for Beating Dental Phobia

Dental fear or anxiety is a type of phobia that can strike anyone at any age. Dental anxiety is more common than you may think, and as many as 75% of Americans suffer from some form of dental anxiety.

Discuss Your Fears With The Dentist

Regardless of the procedure you need in your dentist’s office, being in the waiting room is already stressful for many people. For example, if you haven’t been to a dentist in years due to fear of painful dental procedures, you may start feeling anxious before you even enter the office. To ease your anxiety before leaving home, talk to your dentist about your fears and concerns. Let them know your worries and fears so they can help you feel more comfortable with the procedures you need. Inform them of your medical history so they can choose the safest treatments for you. If you suffer from dental phobia or anxiety that is severe enough to interfere with your life, let them know ahead of time so they can accommodate you appropriately. For instance, they can schedule your appointments in the early morning hours so you will not be around other people who might cause you stress. If you are afraid of needles, ask if they can apply a numbing agent, such as topical anesthetics or dental nerve blocks, to the area of your mouth that needs to be treated before inserting the needle. You can also discuss with them whether nitrous oxide can be used to help you relax during a procedure. A dentist who specializes in sedation dentistry can discuss these options with you to find what best suits your individual needs.

When discussing your fear with your dentist, be honest. This will help them to best help you. If your fear is keeping you from visiting the dentist regularly, they will likely recommend a form of sedation to ease your discomfort so you can receive the treatment you need. However, it’s important to note that there are no medications that can eliminate all pain associated with dental treatments.

Agree On A Signal

You can agree on a signal for when your dentist stops the procedure and asks you to stop if you feel pain or discomfort during the procedure. This may include raising a hand or tapping on the table.

Take A Friend Or Family Member With You For Emotional Support

Having someone you trust by your side can provide comfort to both you and your loved one. It can also help distract you from the procedure. Some patients even find it helpful to have someone drive them home after the procedure.

Bring Distractions To Occupy Your Mind During Procedures

Distracting yourself from the discomforts of dental procedures can really ease your nerves. You can bring along a family member or friend to keep you distracted. You can also bring a tablet loaded with your favorite movies, books, games, etc. Using headphones can also help in drowning out the sounds of the drill and suction tool.

Consider Sedation Dentistry

For an added level of comfort, consider consulting with your dentist over sedation dentistry. Sedation can be in the form of oral medication, nitrous oxide inhalation, or intravenous sedatives. Talk it over with your dentist regarding which method will work best for you.

  • Patients who are scared of needles and injections are often advised to take sedatives before a procedure in order to calm their nerves. Also, it’s common for dentists to administer local anesthesia before a treatment to numb the gums.
  • Sedatives are recommended for patients who need a lot of work done in one visit. Some treatments may require several visits to finish, but a sedated patient may only need one appointment.
  • People who suffer from severe anxiety or fear of going to the dentist often benefit from sedation. Since sedatives reduce anxiety and stress, they can help patients relax and stay calm during treatments.
  • Patients who suffer from sleep apnea may also benefit from sedatives since they can make it easier to breathe when sleeping.
  • Patients with mental disabilities can sometimes do better under sedation since they are less likely to move during the procedure.
  • People with body dysmorphic disorder who need dental treatments are also recommended to have sedation since it can help them feel more relaxed.

To find out more about the dental services offered at Monica Neely DDS, call (405) 302-0100 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit our office at 2408 NW 178th St, Edmond, OK 73012. We will guide you further.


2408 NW 178th St, Edmond, OK 73012

Phone: (405) 302-0100

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