Unearthing Dental Fear and Anxiety

While it’s true that no one really enjoys going to the dentist, there are people out there who truly suffer from dental fear. Whether the visit is something as simple as a teeth cleaning, or an intensive surgery, the mere concept of stepping into a dentist’s office is impossible for someone with this kind of anxiety. If you think you or someone you know is struggling with dental fear, here’s what you need to know to cope.

Causes of Dental Fear

Previous trauma/PTSD
You might be battling dental fear if you’ve already had a negative incident occur in the past. Perhaps you encountered a dentist who wasn’t very experienced and made a mistake. Or maybe you weren’t prepared for the intensity of a drill, and that memory prevented you from going back. These are only a couple of examples of what could spark your issues.

Pre-existing anxiety
A lot of people have already been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder before discovering their fear of cosmetic dentistry. The idea of even stepping foot into a dentist’s office most likely worsens your disorder.

Heavy usage of varying substances
Having your judgment skewed by any drugs or alcohol can absolutely spark an anxiety that you never had, or bring one to the surface.

Previous domestic or child abuse
If you’ve experienced abuse at home or in a relationship, it can easily transfer to a scenario such as this. You may feel this same anxiety with someone you will be in physical contact with, such as a dentist or doctor.


If you can relate to any of these causes, you should be on the lookout for the following symptoms:
– You are anxious about an upcoming dentist appointment, to the extent that it keeps you from sleeping at night.
– You become physically nauseous or sick at the thought of going to the dentist’s office.
– You begin to panic or feel out of control when you see the dental instruments, or feel them in your mouth.
– You are kept from functioning like you normally do when you need to consider dentistry or orthodontics.

How to Overcome Your Dental Fear

Improving your dental fear and anxiety can be very trying to communicate if your dentist, or the people in your life, don’t understand it. It may be difficult, but it’s important to be more vocal in your wants and needs. Here are a few ways to get your dentist to be more sensitive to your worries:

– It’s important for you to find a distinctive dental office, we recommend searching in areas such as the Flatirons District or Union Square in New York.
– Speak up about your dental fear to your dentist so that they are aware.
– If you have found the right dental office, your dentist will make sure to inform you of each step in the process. They will tell you what’s going to happen, when and what you will feel so that you are better prepared and feel in control of the situation.
– Don’t feel uncomfortable to ask for breaks if you are feeling anxious.
While communication is key when entering a dental scenario that you are wary of, you can also further prepare by educating yourself before your dentist appointment. Understanding the following procedures before you undergo them might help put you at ease.

Artista Dental Studio takes pride in addressing all dental concerns including fear and anxiety. Dr. Manfredi is sensitive to these issues and offers a variety of options. Call 212-995-8930 for a free consultation.