What Do I Do About Dental Anxiety and Fear?

It’s quite common to fear going to the dentist. Many fear even stepping into a dental office, let alone sitting in the dental chair.

Approximately 9-15% of Americans, or 30-40 million ​people, avoid seeing the dentist because of fear and anxiety.

We get it. And while ABC Dental does not offer sedation dentistry, we have a team of super gentle, fantastic assistants and doctors.

If you let our front office know that you suffer from dental anxiety or even that seeing the dentist is somewhat tense for you, we’ll do everything we can to make you as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

Here is a list of some of the most common dental fears:

  • Fear of embarrassment about the condition of teeth.
  • Fear of gagging.
  • Fear of injections.
  • Fear of loss of control.
  • Fear of not becoming numb when injected with Novocain.
  • Fear of pain.
  • Fear of the dentist as a person.
  • Fear of the handpiece (or the drill).


How to cope with dental anxiety and fear.

​Here are some simple strategies that you can practice to make your visit less stressful.

  • ​Distracting yourself by counting or playing mental games
  • ​Distancing yourself by telling yourself that the pain feels like something else or that you are somewhere else (tropical paradise comes to mind)
  • ​Strengthening yourself by repeating the mantra “I am strong. This will be over soon. I can do this.”
  • Embracing the positive by reminding yourself that the best way to avoid major dental procedures is by staying on top of your regular dental visits. Nothing provokes anxiety like not getting proper dental care when things are small and letting them escalate into major dental problems.
  • ​Zoning out by listening to headphones.

We see many patients who came to us after not seeing a dentist for years because they were anxious or fearful. ​Come and see why our patients love us.