Are you afraid of the dentist? Dental anxiety is more common than many people realize. Fear of the dentist can be so intense that patients put off oral healthcare for years. One bad experience in childhood can stop someone from seeing a dentist for decades!
We understand how difficult it is to break past your fear and get the treatment you may desperately need. But we are here to help. In this post, we’ll explore possible ways to overcome your fear of the dentist, so you can get the treatment and care you deserve.
Understand Your Triggers
People are afraid of going to the dentist for a lot of reasons. Each one is unique and deserves to be treated with equal respect and understanding. Your comfort matters, and it’s easier to find a provider who can help you if you know the underlying causes of your fear.
Common causes of dental phobia are:
- A sensitive gag reflex
- Previous traumatic experiences
- Chronic pain and depression
- General anxiety
- Fear of needles
- Difficulty getting numb
Once you know why the dentist scares you, or which procedures in particular trigger your anxiety, you can start to work toward a solution. You’ll need a partner during this process, and we suggest reaching out to a dentist who specializes in treating patients with dental anxiety.
Dr. Louis Siegelman has been helping patients with all types and levels of dental phobia for years. We pride ourselves on running a welcoming, comforting, supportive space that takes treatment at your own pace.
Visit the Office for a Meet and Greet
One of the biggest reasons many patients are anxious is that they only go to the dentist when they need urgent care. It’s not uncommon for someone who avoids oral healthcare to develop severe cavities, gum disease, and other issues. They only seek care when they are at a breaking point — which leads to more fear as they have to undergo procedures like fillings.
We recommend contacting a dentist’s office and letting them know about your fear. Set an appointment to meet with the dentist and staff, learn more about their services, and have time to ask all your questions.
You can also plan for your first exam, which will make the actual appointment much less stressful.
Phobias are treatable with the right care. Consider reaching out to a licensed mental health counselor who can help you address your fear of the dentist.
There are also free resources that can help you, too. In this article by Harvard Health, real patients share their coping techniques. You can also read tips for living with dental phobia by the Cleveland Clinic.
Schedule a Consultation With Dr. Siegelman
We are here to make you feel comfortable at the dentist. If you would like to arrange a meet-and-greet consultation with Dr. Siegelman, please call 212-974-8737 or request an appointment online.