Proudly serving the Gainesville community since 1987.

How To Overcome Your Fear Of The Dentist

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When people are scared of going to the dentist, their fear can keep them from receiving the preventive care they need. Patients who feel overwhelmed with anxiety may repeatedly postpone, cancel or no-show to their appointments, but this can also increase the anxiety they feel by prolonging the suspense. If you have ever struggled with a fear of the dentist, these tips may help you ease your mind and muster up the courage to follow through with your appointments.

Uncover The Root Of Your Fear

Some people can pinpoint a specific moment that changed their feelings for the worse about going to the dentist while others have a seemingly unexplained fear that has caused them to avoid the dental chair for as long as they can remember. There are many reasons for uneasiness at the dentist’s office.

Sensitive Teeth & Gums

Patients who have sensitive teeth and/or gums that bleed easily may avoid the dentist because of a fear that any procedure will hurt. Although it is true that sensitivity and pain tolerance levels vary among individuals, sometimes external factors exacerbate the fear. Don’t go looking for ways to reinforce your worry about potential pain. These include reading exaggerated reports about the procedure online, asking for friends’ horror stories about the dentist, or listening attentively to the sounds dentistry tools make while you’re in the waiting room. Instead, reserve any questions you may have about the procedure and what to expect from it for the dentist. He or she can provide a more accurate description tailored to your case and offer potential methods for relief.


Some patients feel embarrassed about the way their teeth or gums look or worry about having bad breath. Others don’t want to be chastised for habits such as smoking or not brushing their teeth as often as they should. However, avoiding visits to the dentist for these reasons only perpetuates the cycle of poor oral health. Rest assured knowing that good Gainesville dentists will handle your case with professionalism and confidentiality. Their intention is not to scold you but to help improve your dental health.

Previous Bad Experiences

Memories of bad experiences, whether they are recent or date back to childhood, can be paralyzing. Share them with your dentist so that together you can discuss what went wrong, why, and how to prevent it from happening again. This likely won’t be the first time a Gainesville dentist has heard of a prior experience that ended badly and he or she may even have some solutions or tips to provide and help you relax in the chair.

Communicate Openly

Upon visiting the office of a dentist in Gainesville, FL, don’t be afraid to ask questions and communicate openly about any concerns with the nurses, dentist and other members of the team. From offering you a drink in the waiting room to putting on music or a TV show of your choice to help you relax during the procedure, a good dentist’s staff should be trained and willing to take the necessary steps to maximize your comfort.

Educate Yourself

Many times, a fear of the dentist or a specific procedure stems from the fear of the unknown. Anxiety is natural when you don’t understand your condition or don’t know what to expect from a procedure you have signed up for. Ask your Gainesville dentist to let you take home brochures and other educational material to review before or after a procedure. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to ease your mind.

Establish A Signaling System

Feeling helpless is another major component of fear. Establish a signaling system with your Gainesville dental care providers that will help you feel more in control and serve as a reminder that you can request them to stop if you are in pain, have a question or just need a minute to catch your breath. It could be something as simple as raising your hand.

Find A Good Dentist In Gainesville

Proudly serving the Gainesville community since 1987, Van Dyke General and Implant Dentistry provides a full array of dental services, from simple teeth cleaning sessions for regular oral care to more complex procedures like tooth extractions or root canal therapy. Putting the patient’s comfort at the forefront, our dentists in Gainesville aim to communicate effectively with you throughout every step of a procedure. Call us today for an appointment!