How do you feel when you have a dental visit planned?  Happy that you are going to get your teeth looked after or nervous about the dentist, unsure of what will happen and dreading having to have any treatment? You know that looking after your teeth is vital and that check-ups are a must-do, but somehow, just the thought of a needle or drill makes you unduly anxious.

The thing to do is tell your dentist how you feel.  Don’t try and hide it or you may come out of the dental clinic shaking and in a highly anxious state. Choose a dentist that is empathic and who will take your fears seriously.   Ask family and friends who they would recommend.  If your dentist is part of a group practice, then be sure to book treatment with the dentist you feel most at ease with.  If they don’t make you feel comfortable and at ease from your first meeting, it is unlikely that they are the one of you.

Picking a random dentist who you don’t know and hoping it will be OK is not a good idea as a negative experience will simply add to your dental  anxiety.

How to overcome dental anxiety

Dental patients worry about so many things; having a needle in their gum, having teeth drilled, the dentist being so close to them or the pain that might ensue.  Let’s take a look at some tips on how you can help yourself to deal with dental anxiety and dentist nerves.


Having a needle in your arm is one thing, but inserted into your gum is another.  If your fear is making you feel uncomfortable, tell your dentist and he can apply a numbing gel to the gum prior to the injection.  The result? A pain-free injection.

Dentist’s drill

Just hearing the sound of the drill from the waiting room can make your tummy turn somersaults.   Your mind may start to race, envisaging all types of horror stories.  But the truth is that the drill is never used until the area to be treated has been totally numbed.  Your dentist will make absolutely sure that you won’t feel any pain.  You may even want to take earphones with you; tell the dentist you will pop them in before he starts work and you won’t hear a thing.  Instead you can listen to music of your choice, close your eyes and relax.


Toothache can be unbearable but some of us would rather suffer it than put ourselves in the dentist’s chair.  This is because we fear the pain that we may experience.  Even if we have never had a problem at the dentists before, we think that this could be the first time.  However it’s not likely to happen due to the powerful anaesthetics and numbing gels now available.  You will feel much better if you are able to relax your muscles, breathe gently and trust your dentist. If you are having a tooth filled or removed, imagine the pain and discomfort being taken away, leaving you in a much better place.


Always remember that only individual teeth and gums and numbed. The area around may feel swollen and odd but you will not lose function.  Fears that you may not be able to swallow or will suffocate do not have any grounding in fact. Remember this and your fears will dissipate.

Fear of the dentist being so close – don’t feel uncomfortable about being so close to your dentist or him seeing your teeth in less than perfect condition.  As a skilled medical professional, this is his job and what he is used to. The secret is to choose a dentist who is caring and who understand your fears. It’s also a good idea to take a companion with you who can sit in the room whilst your treatment is being applied. Good dentists will inform you as to the type of discomfort you will feel and will make sure that you always have a way of communicating, such as putting your hand in the air.

Want to know more?

Would you like to discuss your anxiety with one of our dentists?  If so, get in touch with one of our experts today.  Alternatively, complete the form below to sign up for a consultation with one of our dental experts.

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