overcome fear of the dentist

How to Overcome Fear of the Dentist (Even If You Think It’s Impossible)

Fear of the dentist (the technical term is dentophobia) is quite real.

As many as three out of four people may view a dental visit with anything from mild trepidation to severe panic. The condition tends to be more common in women but gets better with age.

Here are some important facts about dentophobia and ways that Island Dental helps alleviate the problem.

Phobia or Conditioned Response?

A phobia is an irrational fear. You could be absolutely terrified of going to the dentist even if you’ve never had a dental visit or even if all of your experiences have been pleasant.

Most people, however, develop dentophobia because of previous bad experiences. In reality, this is more like post-traumatic stress disorder, which occurs because of a traumatic experience.

Why Dentophobia is a Problem

When it comes to your teeth, regular preventive care can head off more serious problems. Better a small filling today than a root canal or dentures tomorrow.

Avoiding dental care when you have something like an abscess can lead to serious and even life-threatening infections.

It’s the Emotions

Few dental experiences are really as bad as you expect or remember them to be. Dentophobia is a psychological condition that probably has its roots in feeling vulnerable. Try these strategies:

Buddy Up

Bring someone with you to provide emotional support. Having a hand to hold during the procedure can make a big difference.

Distract Yourself

Headphones with your favourite music, watching television with headphones, or even a virtual reality headset can take you away from it all. We make this easy at Island Dental as our dental rooms all have TVs, VCRs, DVDs, CDs and radios with headphones.

Just Relax

People who meditate regularly are much less likely to respond to stress with anxiety or panic. Practice this technique at home until you can control your anxiety.

Talk It Out

A frank conversation with your dentist can help alleviate your fears, build a better relationship with the dentist and promote trust. Knowledge can often reduce anxiety.

We Can Help You Overcome Fear of the Dentist

It’s okay to admit you have a problem with anxiety or fear when it comes to dental visits. At Island Dental we work hard to keep our patients comfortable and help them relax from the moment they arrive.

Our reception is like a family room with books, magazines and television.

Our team are also gentle and show care, respect and patience, but if this isn’t enough, we offer a range of options including relative analgesia (“happy gas”) and conscious sedation (or “twilight dentistry”).

These techniques help to reduce any anxiety you may be feeling.

We’re experienced with helping people who are anxious or afraid of the dentist, so please call us today on (08) 8449 9777. We can schedule an appointment and help you overcome dentophobia in an environment you can trust.


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