The Biggest Fears People Have About Going to the Dentist

Posted on: July 3, 2018

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, is quoted as saying: “the only thing you have to fear is fear itself.”  It is, of course, true that fear is the biggest stumbling block to achieving goals or overcoming difficult situations. Anxiety and fear can cause people to ‘freeze up’ like that of a deer caught in oncoming headlights.

Unfortunately, Mr. Roosevelt’s wise words would not be of comfort to those needing to make an appointment to have teeth examined by a dentist.  For such persons, their trepidation and angst come from the reality of the dental chair, the dental drill, the dental cleaning, the dental anesthetic, and the dentist. These items are the biggest fears when it comes time to visit their dentist, and can seem debilitating to those that have it.

Top reasons for dental anxiety

The dental chair: The dental chair is representative of a loss of control over the situation.  When the dental assistant places the bib on the patient's chest, one can feel like a captive prisoner to the constant probing of the dental tools. There is also fear of the prolonged periods sitting in one place bringing back, neck, or leg discomfort.

The dental anesthetic: Pain is the number one fear that some have when visiting their dentist and that includes the pain of a needle going into the gum to bring about a numbness — even if the anesthetic alleviates the pain of the drilling, poking, and scraping of the problem tooth.

The dental drill: For some people, just the sound of the whirring is enough to cause them to tense up before the dentist even touches the tooth.

The dental cleaning: The professional dental cleaning can also be fearful simply for the uncertainty of what will be found, of the instruments that clean between teeth, of the machine that polishes the teeth.

The dentist: It is sometimes the thought of the dentist looming over the patient in a reclined position, dental tools glistening on the tray under the bright dental light along with the dental drill conspicuously close as patient
has to respond to the familiar yet friendly: “hello, have you been brushing and flossing regularly?”

The fear is real, but it can be eased

The reason for dental anxiety can be as profound as the decay in the once healthy tooth. The fear must be faced, and your dentist is only too happy to make the necessary accommodations that will make your dental visits as favorable an experience as he or she can give. They can play light music in the office or provide patients with a personal headset to listen to music as he or she works with the drill. If there is a problem with sitting too long in the chair, the dental professional will allow the patient to get out of the dental chair for a stretch break. A pillow can also be provided for the chair for patients with lower back problems. Dentists can also use special drills that use water to minimize the heat of a typical dental drill.

Talk to your dentist; they truly can help!

The only thing to fear is the fear of communicating fears to your good dentist who wants to help you. Know that you are not the only one with fear and anxiety of the dentist, and the dentist knows that too! After years of training and practice, they have handled every type of case and can gladly help you in overcoming your fears!

Contact us today so we can begin helping you in the same way!

Request a dental appointment here: or call Bellevue Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry at (425) 249-9186 for an appointment in our Bellevue dental office.

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