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Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods that Can Help

Dental phobia is a common fear among people. Even when you know that your dental health is important, you may be too fearful of visiting the dentist. This fear can stem from a bad experience in the past or from hearing stories from others.

Speak up about your fears

It’s important to speak up about any fears you may have during your appointment with your dental care provider. Remember, your dentist wants to work with you, so you’re comfortable during your treatment. Letting him or her know about your concerns can make it easier for them to help you.

Before your appointment, write down any specific questions you have for your dental care provider so that you won’t forget to ask them when you’re in the chair. Make sure you let them know if you’ve had a bad experience in the past or if you’re particularly nervous about some aspect of your procedure, like taking X-rays of your mouth. Ask for their reassurance and take the time to explain your fears to them. They can often help you feel more comfortable by answering your questions, explaining what to expect, and showing you pictures of your teeth’s condition before treatment.

Agree on a signal

Agreeing on a signal that you will use if you need a break or feel anxious will help ease your mind. For example, you can use a hand motion to take a break. That way, you can communicate to stop treatment or need a break.

Take a trusted person with you

If you’re anxious about your upcoming appointment, ask for assistance! Your trusted loved one can help you stay calm and encourage you to speak up about any fears or concerns you have before your appointment even begins. Also, it’s a good idea to bring someone along with you who can drive you home after your appointment in case you feel nervous or lightheaded afterward. 

Bring distractions

Distractions help patients feel more relaxed throughout their appointment. If you forget to bring something to occupy your time, your dentist’s office may have a supply of books, magazines, and puzzles for you to borrow during your appointment. For longer procedures, such as root canals or oral surgeries, consider asking a friend or family member to come with you to keep you entertained and comfortable. Bringing headphones to listen to your favorite music can also help to drown out the noise from the dental office so you can drift off into a more comfortable state of mind.

Consider sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry can help you overcome your anxiety or fear so you can get the dental care you need. It can also help you stay still during lengthy procedures. There are some types of sedation that don’t require the use of needles and IVs. For example, nitrous oxide is inhaled through the nose to help you relax. Oral medication may also be used to sedate you. Your dentist will determine the type of sedative that will best meet your needs during a consultation with you.

To find out more about the dental services offered at Madison Park Dental, call (208) 356-5601 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 345 N. 2ND E., Suite 2, Rexburg, ID 83440.


345 N 2nd E Ste 2, Rexburg, ID 83440

Office Hours

MON - THU 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

FRI 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

Get in Touch

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (208) 356-5601