If you ever experience anxiety, even at the mere thought of seeing the dentist, the good news is you’re not alone. According to studies, up to 20% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist due to anxiety, and as many as 60% of dental patients report having mild to severe dental phobia. Although the precise cause of common dental anxiety is not calculable, it is thought that a previous negative dental experience is the most typical culprit for dental anxiety, with parental modeling, reading, or hearing about unpleasant or scary experiences as additional contributing factors.

Yet maintaining healthy teeth and gums requires routine dental checkups, so no matter the reason behind dental anxiety, postponing dental appointments is not a sound solution. The irony is that without consistent dental check-ups, you unfortunately run a greater chance of developing dental issues that will make subsequent dental appointments more challenging.

Fortunately, if you’re one of the many individuals that suffer from dental anxiety, there are several ways to help you feel more at ease at the dentist’s. So in order to help, here are common causes of dental anxiety, how we help patients with dental anxiety, and techniques you can use to cope the next time you have a dental appointment. Let’s jump right to it!

Common Cause of Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety can come in many shapes and forms, but the source of many dental phobias often comes down to these common factors:

    • Fear of Pain: Even though the majority of dental procedures are painless, fear of pain is a major cause of dental anxiety for many people. Some people have dental phobia because of a bad dental experience they had as children or because of terrifying stories they have heard from others.
    • Personal Space: Some patients do not like having clinicians intrude into their personal space. Additionally, some indivdiuals often feel uneasy if something is put in their mouth or if their mouth is obstructed.
    • Anesthesia Side Effects: Everyone has seen humorous viral videos depicting the effects of anesthesia. While anesthesia is important for a smooth dental procedure, it’s not uncommon that patients can feel queasy, numb, or dizzy post-op. But following the procedure, these adverse effects of anesthsia often disappear rapidly, so the patient should not be concerned.
    • Fear of Injections: Many individuals are terrified of needles, particularly if required to have an an injection in their mouth. While it’s hard to ignore the fact that needles are unpleasant for many, a nurturing and professional dental practice will make sure that any injections are as easy and painless as possible and will guide you through every step of the way. 
  • Media Portrayal: Much to the chagrin of dental professionals, representation of dentists in media and literature is not very kind! But while hollywood might get a kick out of blood and gore, that is far from the reality of the holistic, attentive and respectful values characteristic of modern American dentistry. 

How Can Your Dentist Help With Dental Anxiety?

At Rhoades Dentistry, we know too well the suffering that dental anxiety can cause either before or during an appointment. For patients strugggling with their dental visits, we ensure that our appointment procedure includes an anxiety test and we’ll talk you through how we can best tailor our treatment around you so you can feel sade and at ease. Our staff also helps arrange consultation visits ahead of time with patients who indicate a high degree of dental anxiety. 

We use the consultation to thoroughly go through every phase of your treatment, go over ways to get rid of particular triggers, and determine whether you are a good candidate for sedation dentistry

We also allow for longer dental appointments so patients can take as many breaks as possible to ease their anxiety. This way, we give the patient time to settle in at the beginning, pause during the procedure, and calm down at the end.

Tips for Dealing With Dental Anxiety

Here are some techniques you can use to deal with anxiety during your appointment:

Tell Your Dentist About Your Anxiety

Never hesitate to express your worries to the dentist. They can take action to simplify the procedure. They can walk you through each process from beginning to end, so you know what to anticipate. They might also suggest methods to help you unwind and feel more at ease throughout the session. Never hesitate to ask questions. You could have less worry if you comprehend the process.

Distract Yourself as Best You Can

A distraction can also help calm anxiousness in the dental office. Consult your dentist in advance. See whether you may watch TV or a movie or listen to music while wearing headphones during your session. Having a stress ball to keep your hands occupied helps reduce tension.

Try Mindfulness Techniques

While you wait or after getting into the dentist’s chair, anxiety may get worse. In this case, meditation is an easy exercise to improve tranquility and reduce tension. It entails achieving a state of heightened awareness, concentration, and muscular relaxation anyplace, even in the dentist’s office. There are numerous breathing exercises and relaxation methods that you can utilize to help you calm down. When visiting the dentist’s office, it is recommended to try some of these if you are feeling anxious.

Choose a Dentist who Specializes in Dental Anxiety

As a patient of Rhoades Dentisty, you can expect us:

  • To deliver an experience like no other!
  • To be considerate of your time and your point of view.
  • To keep you healthy and pain free.
  • To be gentle, kind, and thoughtful.
  • To ease your anxiety – nitrous oxide and oral sedatives are available.
  • To ensure you know how much we care.
  • Be clinically excellent, skilled, and knowledgeable.
  • To stay up to date and exceed the state-required 30 hours of education with well over 100 hours of annually.
  • To earn your trust for a generation!


Overcome Your Fear

Both adults and children can have dental anxiety. However, despite your anxiety, you should keep your scheduled appointments. Consult your dentist to review any relaxation methods that might work for you. You could also try out the techniques above to help you deal with your anxiety and get through visits.