Scared Smile: 5 Ways to Conquer Your Fear of the Dentist 

Lizzie Weakley wrote for Healthy Lombard that even the strongest, most courageous people may feel anxious before visiting the dentist. Some people have a phobia that causes them to make up excuses to avoid going to an appointment. Here are five ways to relieve the stress and anxiety of a dentist’s visit.

Visit a Small, Quiet Office

Visiting the dentist’s office when it’s loud and crowded will only increase your nervousness and create more stress. Look for small offices that allow in a few customers at a time. Visit during the least busy times of the day, such as early morning hours when the office first opens. Avoid more crowded times during the evenings and weekends.

Relax With Music

Music has a soothing, relaxing effect on people. Try relieving your nerves with the sounds of music before and after your dental appointment. Listen to it on the drive there and while you’re waiting in the office. Some offices will have music on in the background while you’re getting your teeth cleaned. If you’re really hoping to listen to your music during a procedure, call ahead and ask if you’re able to softly play music on your phone while the assistant works on your teeth. They may say yes and let you!

Ask for a Sedative

You can ask your dentist to give you a sedative during treatment. This way, you avoid having to feel the distress of traditional dental treatment. Conscious sedation is a type of sedation dentistry that allows the patient to respond to the dentist’s touch without having to feel the full effects of being treated. Make sure to call ahead to confirm that your dental office offers this to patients.


Get a Friend’s or Family Member’s Help

A reassuring friend, spouse, or family member can help you to overcome your anxiety. Having a person hold your hand or speak a few positive words could be enough to relieve your nerves before your appointment. Consider asking for a friend’s or relative’s referral to a dentist. This is a great way to have peace of mind when arriving at your appointment.

Find a Friendly Dentist

Your dentist’s personality and demeanor toward you are what makes your dental experience pleasant or distressing. Compare the different types of dentists by reviewing different customer reviews. Try to visit a dentist who is open, friendly, and always in good spirits. You want a dentist who is receptive to your questions and willing to make special accommodations for every patient. Filter reviews based on these qualities to find the best dental care.


Millions of people avoid going to the dentist every year. One of the biggest reasons is the strong fear and distrust of medical professionals. People do not want to feel the pain and discomfort of being treated in a dentist’s chair. For anyone who is apprehensive about a dentist’s appointment, several techniques are proven to relieve the stress of visiting a dentist. Try some of the above to relieve your fears.

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.

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