Dealing with Fear of the Dentist


The dentist’s office can be a scary place for many people, especially those considering procedures like Invisalign in Los Angeles. Dental anxiety, or fear of the dentist, is a common issue that can make it hard to go for check-ups and treatments. But there are strategies you can try to make dental visits more manageable and less stressful. Let’s explore some simple ways to address dental anxiety and feel more comfortable at the dentist’s office:

Talk to Your Dentist

One of the most important things you can do if you’re scared of the dentist is to talk to your dentist about your fears. Dentists are trained to work with patients who feel anxious, and they can offer support and reassurance to help you feel more at ease. By discussing your concerns openly, your dentist can adjust their approach to accommodate your needs and make the experience as comfortable as possible for you.

Take Small Steps

If the idea of going to the dentist feels overwhelming, consider taking small steps to gradually acclimate yourself to the experience. Start by visiting the dentist’s office without having any dental work done. Simply sit in the waiting room or talk to the dentist to get familiar with the environment. As you become more comfortable, you can gradually increase your level of participation in each visit, taking small steps toward overcoming your fear.

Relaxation Techniques

Practicing relaxation techniques can be helpful in managing dental anxiety. Techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization can help calm your mind and body before and during dental appointments. Some dentists offer amenities like soothing music or aromatherapy to create a more relaxing atmosphere in the dental office, further enhancing your ability to relax.

Ask About Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a possibility that should be taken into consideration for people who have extreme dental anxiety. Medication is used in sedation dentistry to make patients feel more at ease and calm while having dental work done. Many forms of sedation are available, such as intravenous (IV) sedation, oral sedatives, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Depending on your degree of anxiety and the type of dental treatment being done, your dentist can go over the choices with you and help you choose the best course of action.

Get Therapy

Seeking therapy from a mental health professional who specializes in treating dental anxiety can be beneficial. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), in particular, has been shown to be effective in addressing dental anxiety. Through CBT, you can learn to identify and challenge negative thoughts and beliefs about dental visits, develop coping strategies, and gradually desensitize yourself to the experience of going to the dentist.


Dental anxiety is a common issue that affects many people, but it doesn’t have to control your life or prevent you from getting the dental care you need. By employing strategies such as open communication with your dentist, taking small steps to acclimate yourself to the dental environment, practicing relaxation techniques, considering sedation dentistry, seeking therapy, and seeking support from others, you can overcome your fear and make dental visits a more comfortable experience. Remember, taking care of your oral health is essential for your overall well-being, and facing your fear of the dentist is the first step toward achieving a healthy, happy smile.

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