I’m scared of the dentist, what do I do?


It’s okay, you really aren’t the only one. Thousands of people across the UK struggle with dental appointments and fear the next big trip to the chair. In fact, some people can spend their entire lives avoiding it and only go when they are in severe pain. And though this is very understandable, it is really not very ideal as lots of problems that develop with our teeth are completely avoidable if you catch them soon enough. It is important that we understand that just because we can’t see a problem beginning to form doesn’t mean our dentist Navan won’t see one.

What is dental anxiety?

There are different types of fear when it comes to dental checkups, and understanding where you sit on the spectrum of fear will greatly impact the options available to you for improving your relationship with your dentist.

Anxiety vs phobia

Dental anxiety is described as being a worry about the dentist or a feeling that sets your tummy off and makes you feel nervous and apprehensive. You may currently be avoiding your dental checkups, but when push comes to shove, you will find a way of forcing yourself to go.

Dental phobia refers to when you are so scared that no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to find a way to get yourself to the dentist. The fear is crippling and can cause serious physical reactions like panic attacks. When addressing dental phobia, you will need to seek assistance from professionals to find a way to help manage the situation. There are lots of different methods of treatment, including hypnosis, talking therapy and even sedation, but all of these need to be looked at under supervision. You could try and speak to your doctor about how you’re feeling, and they will be able to point you in the right direction.

Dental anxiety top tips

If your experience feels a little more like dental anxiety, then there are things you can do to help yourself create a more relaxed and pleasant experience when it comes to your dental appointments. Here are a few ways to help those dental butterflies.

dentist operating on her patient with assistance

Visit the surgery

Making yourself accustomed to the surroundings of the dental practice prior to the appointment is a really easy and accessible way to quiet down the worry bugs. For many people, a big part of anxiety comes from simply meeting new people; you don’t need to make your life harder by tackling a new place and new dentist all in one day.

Early appointments

This is a clever little brain trick. You don’t need to spend all day worrying about your dental appointment; you’ve got more important fish to fry. Book your appointment early to keep it off your mind.

Friends and family

Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you don’t need a friend when you’re feeling a little bit nervous. Most practices actively encourage patients to bring their support network if they’re worried.


Anything you can bring to make you feel better is welcome. Eye masks, headphones, cuddly toys; whatever it is, it should help you take your mind off the procedure.

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