How can dentists help nervous patients?

by | Mar 20, 2023


Most people dread a visit to the dentists despite knowing that visiting the dentist at least twice a year is one of the best ways to enjoy good oral health and a confident smile. Dental phobia is real, and luckily today dental experts understand this and are more than capable of treating nervous patients with the care and patience they deserve. Do not let your fear of the dentist stop you from getting the dental treatment and oral care you need to lead a happy and healthy life. Besides, the longer you leave between your appointments the greater the risk of smaller issues turning into bigger problems.

Avoid neglecting your dental care by taking a few simple steps so that your dentist knows you are a nervous patient and can adjust your treatment accordingly.

Reasons why patients may feel nervous

When you speak to your dentist you can discuss the reasons that cause you to feel nervous so that they can be addressed correctly. Especially if when you last visited the dentist and had a bad experience give proper details so all those mistakes can be avoided this time around. Some of the reasons you may be feeling nervous can include:

  • Fear of the dentist’s drill
  • Fear of needles and injections
  • Fear of being vulnerable
  • Fear of embarrassment
  • Fear of the medicinal smell at the dental clinic
  • Fear of pain
  • Fear of choking
  • Fear of the diagnosis
  • Fear of the treatment
  • Fear borne from past bad experiences

Professional dentists have the experience and expertise to deal with such concerns and can discuss with you ways and remedies that can be utilised to make the experience less stressful for you. Today dental practices take pride in creating absolute confidence in their patients and tailor treatments to take individuals into consideration. You will be invited to have an in-depth discussion pre-treatment to discuss your concerns and to gain proper knowledge regarding what will be done and how it will be done in a manner best suited to you.


If you are a person who absolutely cannot stand to undergo surgery then sedation is an option as it can be given to you via IV. This depends on the type of surgery you need but is a suitable option if you prefer to be unaware while the procedure is being done.

Discuss anaesthetic options

If you are undergoing treatment then check with your dentist if they provide numbing gels or local anaesthetic so that you can relax knowing that you will feel no pain or discomfort. For some treatments though you may need a general anaesthetic.

Procedure details

A good way to reduce some of the stress of a dental visit is to plan ahead. By not waiting till you have a dental emergency you can take time to plan your visit, get to know your dentist and understand completely the procedures you may need to undergo. By being forewarned you will be better prepared about what to expect and discuss with your dentist measures that can be taken to reduce your stress. This way you will have less to be nervous about because you know that you are in safe hands and that steps have been taken to make the treatment process more comfortable for you.

Creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere

You will find that the dental practice of your choice will already have a welcoming and friendly atmosphere that will immediately put you at ease. It is not difficult to do research and find reviews for clinics that receive good reviews for their welcoming atmosphere. Such places will have nursing and reception staff trained in making patients comfortable by listening and catering to their needs. Some may offer relaxation lounges, complimentary services, aromatherapy and such calming treatments to help reduce your fears and anxieties.

Distraction techniques

Versatile distraction methods to take the mind off the upcoming dental appointment or procedure are ideal for children, young patients and nervous adults. This can take any form that would work best for you. From watching a movie, listening to calming music or sounds or music of your choice on wireless headphones to block out external noises, to breathing exercises, to engaging in conversation with a trained professional to alleviate your fears are just a few of the methods that can be used.

Calming music or TV

Listening to music is one of the more effective ways to calm the mind of people with moderate cases of dental anxiety. Music has a calming effect, not only helping to distract you but also the correct music can even slow down your heart rate and reduce blood pressure. Music therapy is a helpful way to deal with dental anxiety before and during treatment. The correct programme on TV can also help distract you and blur the waiting time so you do not spend it stressing about the upcoming treatment.

Listening to patients’ concerns

The most important thing you can do for yourself as a nervous patient is do your research about dental clinics reputed for their empathy towards patients with anxiety. With the proper clinic, you will feel comfortable and safe as the dentists and staff are more than willing to listen to and address your dental concerns. This empathy towards your anxieties is what helps them take the proper steps to create a stress-free treatment plan for you.


Neglecting your dental health due to nerves and anxiety is no longer an excuse as you will be able to find dental practices that are capable of handling your treatment with care and understanding. It is important that you continue with your dental visits once you find a place suitable to your needs so that you can gradually become more comfortable with getting your teeth attended to. Oral health is as important as other areas of your health and should not be avoided. Good dentists will always take your concerns into consideration and ensure you experience a stress-free process and leave with well looked after healthy teeth.