While we’re always proud of our distinction as Concord’s friendliest dentist, we recognize that dental anxiety is a real thing. 

If you find yourself dreading or delaying your next dental appointment, even if it’s just a routine cleaning, this blog post is for you!

Where does dental anxiety actually come from? 

Let’s start by taking a look at what dental anxiety is, along with common sources that cause it. Dental anxiety is a real and common issue that affects many people. So common, in fact, that dentophobia or fear of the dentist affects approximately 36% of people in the United States. 

Symptoms range from slight nervousness to severe fear, which can actually prevent some individuals from seeking necessary dental care even if they’re in pain. 

The reasons for dental anxiety vary, but common triggers include:

  • Previous negative experiences: A bad experience in the past can create lasting fear. That’s true of anything in life and certainly explains why some of our patients are jittery when they walk through our doors. 
  • Fear of pain: This is totally normal — who doesn’t fear pain? For people with dentophobia, however, the anticipation of pain or discomfort can be overwhelming.
  • Feelings of helplessness: Being in the dental chair can make some feel vulnerable or out of control, which is something we work hard to combat when you’re in our care. 
  • Embarrassment: Concerns about the condition of one’s teeth or judgment from the dentist can cause anxiety. Okay, so you haven’t been flossing like you should… you’re not alone. It turns out a whopping 58% of people don’t bother flossing at all. 

What can be done about dental anxiety? 

At our practice, we take a compassionate approach to help our patients manage and overcome their fear. Communicate your fears with us, whether before or during your appointment, so that we can be mindful and make adjustments as needed. 

Some of our patients also benefit from relaxation techniques, whether that means meditation or deep breathing. If you want to bring headphones and a soothing playlist to your next appointment, we say go for it! 

Bring a buddy! We welcome support people — whether friends or family — to come along to your next appointment, if that helps you relax. 

Don’t skip an appointment because of dentophobia. Like anything else, by keeping up with regular appointments, you’ll soon fall into a regular rhythm, while getting more comfortable with our team. 

I have been a patient at this practice for over 25 years. I was terrified of dentists prior to finding this practice. Everybody: receptionists, dental hygienists and the dentists, create a safe and welcoming environment.They are professional and personable. I would highly recommend this practice.” — Lisa Hall 

Ready to overcome your dentophobia? We’re standing by to support you! 

Contact our office today!