Overcome Dental Anxiety: 6 Ways to Manage Fear of the Dentist

Dental anxiety is a common fear that can prevent many people from visiting the dentist. People who suffer from dental anxiety tend to avoid or delay dental treatments. Unfortunately, not going to the dentist can lead to more serious oral health issues. 

Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce dental anxiety and make going to the dentist a less stressful experience. Below, we explore some tips to relieve dental anxiety. It’s time to take control of your oral health!

1. Communicate Your Concerns to Your Dentist

If you feel anxious about an upcoming appointment, communicate your concerns. Let your dentist know ahead of time that you may be feeling anxious. This will allow them to tailor the appointment to your needs. They can work on a plan to make you feel more comfortable. They may also be able to provide helpful tips or resources to help you manage your anxiety. 

Additionally, bringing a friend or family member to the appointment can reduce anxiety. Someone who cares about you in the room provides comforting reassurance and eases your nerves. 

2. Breathing Exercises

Reducing dental anxiety can be a daunting task for some. But with a few simple breathing exercises, your appointment can go more smoothly. Taking a few deep breaths before an appointment can help relax the body and mind. 

Inhale deeply to the count of four, hold for two seconds and then exhale slowly to the count of four. This will help to slow the heart rate, relax the muscles, and reduce stress. There are other simple exercises to try as well. For example, you can visualize a relaxing scene or repeat calming words. Taking the time to practice mindful breathing exercises can make a big difference.

3. Guided Imagery

Reducing dental anxiety through guided imagery is a great way to take control of your fear. Guided imagery is a form of relaxation that uses the power of your imagination to help reduce fear. During guided imagery, you will focus on calming images. Examples of relaxing images include a beautiful beach or a peaceful meadow. Using your senses, you can become immersed in the image. 

At your appointment, imagine yourself in a calm and relaxed state. This can help you feel more relaxed and comfortable. With practice, you can use guided imagery to manage your dental anxiety better. The result is that you’ll have a more positive experience at the dentist. 

4. Analgesia

Reducing dental anxiety is integral to providing quality patient care. One way to decrease dental anxiety is through the use of analgesia. Analgesia can be administered in a variety of ways. For example, you may receive it through oral medication, injection, inhalation, or topical application. Using analgesia can help reduce the fear associated with dental procedures. It also reduces the intensity of pain. 

Furthermore, it reduces the time needed for the procedure and additional sedation. With analgesia, your overall experience with the dental visit can improve. 

5. Breathing Exercises

Another way to reduce dental anxiety is by using breathing exercises. An effective technique is to take slow, deep breaths. Next, focus on the sensation of air entering and exiting the body. This helps to create a sense of relaxation and can help to reduce fear. 

Other techniques to reduce anxiety include visualization. During visualization, you imagine yourself being in a peaceful, calming place. This can help to redirect your focus away from your fear. Instead, you’re led to a calming space in your mind. 

Additionally, progressive muscle relaxation can reduce tense muscles throughout the body. When your muscles feel more relaxed, you experience less stress. Combined, these techniques can reduce dental anxiety and make dental visits more comfortable. 

6. Conscious Sedation

Conscious sedation is an increasingly popular way to reduce dental anxiety. This type of sedation involves using medication to relax during a dental procedure. You are awake during the appointment but feel relaxed and not full of dread. 

Conscious sedation can help to reduce fear, stress, and tension. With sedation, you’re able to tolerate the dental procedure. Patients who receive conscious sedation report feeling more comfortable during the procedure. Plus, they often report having a much better experience than those who do not receive sedation. 

It’s also beneficial for patients with dental phobia or dental anxiety. It can help them to tolerate the procedure, allowing them to get the dental care they need. 


Dental anxiety is a prevalent problem, but it is possible to reduce it. You can manage dental anxiety through positive coping strategies, such as deep breathing and relaxation techniques, distraction techniques, and sedation dentistry. In some cases, you can eliminate dentist anxiety. 

If you’re worried, talk to your dentist to discuss your needs and concerns. The good news is that you’re caring for your health by going to the dentist. Whether you need a night guard from JS Dental Lab or dental cleaning, you can determine the best course of action together. With a plan, you will feel more comfortable in the dental chair.

Vivek is a published author of Meidilight and a cofounder of Zestful Outreach Agency. He is passionate about helping webmaster to rank their keywords through good-quality website backlinks. In his spare time, he loves to swim and cycle. You can find him on Twitter and Linkedin.