Overcoming Your Fear of the Dentist

If you have a fear of the dentist, you’re not alone. A survey by the American Association of Endodontists found that 80 percent of adult Americans have a fear of the dentist; more than half say this fear may keep them from seeing a dentist. I have found this to be true with many of my patients. Painful experiences in the past often keep them from visiting the dentist altogether. By the time they reach my office, there is usually a great deal of work that needs to be done. This, coupled with the existing anxiety the patient already has about dental procedures, makes easing their anxiety a top priority for every visit.

If you have anxiety about visiting the dentist, the first thing you should know is that your fear is not uncommon, and you should not be embarrassed by it. It is important to share these fears with your dentist so he or she can walk you through each procedure. I often find that telling a patient exactly what the process is can help to make them more relaxed. Open communication is key, both from the patient sharing how they feel about the work that needs to be done, and from the dentist explaining what the process is, what the outcome will be and what options are available.

One of my patients, Micheal Wright, is proof that you should not be embarrassed by your fear of the dentist or let it stop you from getting the dental work you need. Micheal shares a perspective that many adults can relate to in the video below.