Fearful PatientIf You Have a Dental Fear

Let’s say you visit the dentist faithfully, and enjoy a high level of health. And yet, just before an appointment, you experience sweaty palms, increased heart rate, and you feel jittery and nervous.

You—and 150 million other people—have a touch of dental fear.

Dentistry today, with all the benefits of technology and technique, is virtually pain-free. So why are we jumpy?

Lots of reasons. Maybe a bad experience from long ago lingers in the memory. Families can also unwittingly pass along old fears, generation to generation. Or maybe you’re not really sure what’s going to happen.

One thing we do know: your level of anxiety contributes to how comfortable you are during treatment.

Handling Fear

An important way to control your fear is to admit it to yourself—and to us. Talking about your apprehension can make you feel better. Get specific. Take a long hard look at what’s really bothering you, and decide to gain the upper hand.

There are lots of therapies for dental fear that seem to work. Sometimes a little of this, a little of that.

One is simple distraction. The idea is to keep your mind off what’s bothering you by drawing your attention elsewhere. A favorite musician or comedy album playing on your headphones can go a long way to help.

The anxious patient can also benefit by practicing a form of meditation. Focus on breathing deeply, keeping muscles relaxed, and visualizing a soothing image like a day at the beach for instance.

Finally, perhaps the best motivation for feeling good about going to the dentist is the knowledge that dental care contributes to your health in a big way. Keep that in mind and we can make your visit a positive experience, both physically and mentally!