How to Overcome Dental Anxiety and Fear

Many people experience dental anxiety or fear—a condition that hampers their oral health due to a delayed or completely avoided dental visit. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that overcoming dental anxiety is not an impossible task. Here are some strategies to help you manage dental anxiety and fear effectively.

Understanding Dental Anxiety and Fear

Dental anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness or discomfort associated with dental procedures. In more pronounced cases, this condition is called dental fear or dental phobia, which can be intense enough to cause panic. Before overcoming this, it’s essential to first understand its nature and origins.

Common Causes of Dental Anxiety and Fear

  • Past traumatic dental experience.
  • Fear of pain, especially due to less advanced dental procedures in the past.
  • Feeling of helplessness or loss of control.
  • Embarrassment about oral conditions.

Strategies to Overcome Dental Anxiety and Fear


Expressing your concerns to your dentist is one of the most effective ways to alleviate your anxiety. Requesting them to explain the procedures can lessen the fear of the unknown.

Distraction Techniques

Distracting yourself during the procedure can keep your mind off the treatment. Listening to music, counting numbers in your head, or watching a video can help.

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry involves using medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It’s often used when patients have severe dental anxiety or need to undergo intensive procedures.

Professional Help

If your anxiety and fear seem overwhelming, professional help may be required. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has proven effective for many in dealing with dental phobia.

FAQs about Dental Anxiety and Fear

Can dental anxiety be prevented?

While dental anxiety may not entirely be prevented, it can be managed effectively using techniques such as deep breathing, distraction, or seeking the right professional help.

What if my child experiences dental anxiety?

Incorporate positive dental habits early in a child’s life to prevent dental anxiety. Choose a child-friendly dentist who can make the dental experience more enjoyable.


Overcoming dental anxiety and fear is a crucial aspect of maintaining good oral health. By understanding your anxiety, using helpful strategies, and possibly seeking professional help, you can make your dental visits more comfortable and less stressful.

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