7 Tips to Deal with Dental Anxiety

A female patient in a dentist chair looks concerned about dental treatmentIf you have a fear of visiting the dentist, you aren’t alone. Research shows that 36% of adults have a dental phobia, and 12% have an extreme fear. Fear is one of the leading reasons people avoid going to the dentist, but the consequences can be significant. Regular dental exams are vital not only to your oral health but to your overall well-being as well.

Newtown Dentistry understands that going to the dentist isn’t always easy for everyone. Our team is committed to reducing anxiety and making visits comfortable for people who are scared to go to the dentist. Our dentists have decades of experience and use the latest, safest technology and methods to ensure the best outcomes while helping you relax in the chair.

From your very first visit, you will see that Newtown Dentistry is different from other dental practices. In fact, many patients who previously avoided the dentist have such positive experiences that they come to enjoy their appointments!

What Causes Dental Phobias?

The first step in overcoming dental phobia is understanding why it occurs in the first place. Although some people don’t know why they fear the dentist, most can pinpoint a specific experience as the source of the fear. These experiences include:

  • Cold or uncaring dentist.
  • Rude or hurtful remarks about the condition of their teeth.
  • Pain during previous treatment or dental procedure.
  • Complications from a dental procedure.
  • Treatment without consent.
  • Unnecessary treatment.

A male dental patient smiles while a dentist wearing a face mask explains treatment to ease his fears. Other dental phobias stem from anxiety about what to expect or other fears related to seeing the dentist or receiving healthcare. These can include:

  • Embarrassment about the condition of your teeth.
  • Embarrassment about not seeing the dentist regularly.
  • Concerns about how you will respond to the dentist (panicking, crying, etc.)
  • Fear of needles.
  • Fear caused by other, unrelated traumas, including dental experiences with other medical providers.

And of course, some people fear the dentist even if they have never been, or haven’t been in a long time, due to the experiences and fears of others. If a parent or friend has dental anxiety or shares stories of bad or traumatic experiences, that can trigger anxiety and a reluctance to see the dentist.

All these concerns are legitimate. They don’t, however, need to keep you from getting dental care you need (and deserve). Finding a dentist that is caring, compassionate, understanding, and willing to work with you without judgment, and in an environment where you feel welcome and comfortable, is the first step to managing your phobia. The doctors at Newtown Dentistry fit the bill and will take the time to discuss your concerns, and make accommodations and adjustments to ensure your comfort when needed.

How to Overcome Dental Anxiety

A dentist wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) discusses treatment with an adult patient who has anxiety. Although many people are anxious about going to the dentist, most can put their fears aside and still receive dental care, even if they don’t necessarily enjoy the experience. Some people, however, are so scared to go to the dentist that they simply don’t.

At Newtown Dentistry, we want to help patients overcome their fear. We do this by creating a welcoming atmosphere. From the moment you walk through the front door, you’ll see you’re not at a typical dentist’s office. Our friendly team is there to give you a warm welcome and help you relax, and you can count on your dentist to listen and walk you through every aspect of care.

Patient comfort is our top priority, and we use the latest technology and tools to help reduce patient anxiety. For example, we provide nitrous oxide, a form of sedation, for relaxation when appropriate. We also utilize the most advanced laser dentistry tools to reduce discomfort and healing time.

Of course, using these tools requires patients to make (and keep) a dental appointment. We make the scheduling process as simple and stress-free as possible and work with you and your schedule to make appointments as convenient as possible. Our dentists also have additional tips that allow you to be less scared to go to the dentist. For example, you can:

  • Write down your concerns and what your dentist can do to help you feel more comfortable. Dental Fear Central, a support organization for dental phobias, offers a convenient checklist to help you organize your thoughts.
  • Schedule your appointment early in the day, so you don’t dwell on your anxiety all day.
  • Ask your dentist to provide a running commentary or explanation of everything they are doing.
  • Agree on a “stop” signal with your dentist that you can give when you begin feeling anxious and need a moment.
  • Practice relaxation techniques before your appointment, like creative visualization or deep breathing.
  • Discuss anesthesia and sedation techniques with your dentist.
  • Reward yourself after your visit—Newtown Dentistry even offers a prize box for adults!

Make Newtown Dentistry Your Dental Home

Choosing a dental practice where you feel comfortable as well as consistently seeing the same doctor can help you manage your dental anxiety. And, if you find yourself searching for a “dental phobia dentist near me,” you’ll undoubtedly find Newtown Dentistry.

We encourage you to make an appointment, experience how our practice is different, and make us your dental home. Explore our site to learn more about what makes our practice unique and request a visit today. If you have questions, call 215-774-5496.


    Newtown Dentistry

  • DATE

    June 4, 2021


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