Overcoming Dentophobia, the Fear Of Dentists

Did you know that 9-15% of Americans have a very real fear of visiting the dentist? Whether it is the fear of pain, anesthetic injections, that the anesthetic injections won’t work, or the lack of personal space, some individuals are so scared of dentists that they avoid visiting them all together. However, it is important to meet with your dentist regularly so they can keep an eye on your oral health. Here are some techniques you can use if you have a fear of dentists.

Talk With Your Dentist

Let your dentist know that you feel anxious and tell them the parts of the procedure that bother you the most. Your dentist will take time to put you at ease, explain what will happen during the procedure, and they may even be able to work around what makes you feel uncomfortable.

Listen To Music

The sound of your tooth being drilled away can make anybody nervous. Bring your MP3 player and ear buds so you can listen to some of your favorite tunes instead.

Distract Yourself

Close your eyes and visualize something besides the dental office. Think of a happy memory, plans for the future, or a different place like a beach or forest.


While waiting for your dentist appointment to begin, try to relax. Whether you do breathing exercises, meditate, or read a book, relaxing can reduce you anxiety of visiting the dentist.

Take A Break

Ask your dentist if you will be able to take a few breaks throughout the procedure. You may even want to come up with a sign, such as raising your hand, to signify that you need a few moments to take a breather. Doing so will help you feel more in control of the situation.


Bringing a friend or family member, asking for the use of nitrous oxide, planning your check-up well in advance, or other techniques may be the best way to help you overcome dentophobia. Just remember that your dentist is always willing to help you.