4 Ways to Deal with Your Fear of Doctors and Dentists

by Sarah Ruhlman
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A fear of seeing the dentist or doctor certainly isn’t uncommon. A lot of people are scared of seeing any kind of medical professional, particularly dentists. There are several things that might make you scared, from not knowing what to expect, to having to let someone you don’t know get very close to you. It can mean that you end up avoiding getting your health checked because you’re scared to go. But there are ways to get over your fear, or at least to manage it for long enough to endure an appointment. If you want to tackle your fear, try these ideas.

Examine Your Fear

Getting to the root of your fear is one way to unravel and address it. Sometimes, you’re not really sure why it is you’re scared to see the dentist or doctor. Even if you do know, confronting the reason can sometimes help you destroy it with logic. A lot of people say their fear is related to a bad experience, especially when concerning the dentist. Realizing that a lot may have changed in dentistry since you were a child and that not all dentists are the same can help with this. Other people might have a fear of the unknown. Many dentists and doctors can help with this by talking you through what will happen first.

Take Someone with You

Doing something that scares you on your own is tough. It’s often helpful to have someone with you who can offer you a shoulder to lean on. If you’re scared of going to the doctor or dentist, see if a friend or family member might be able to come with you. They can wait with you before your appointment and possibly come in to see the doctor with you too. Make sure that whoever you take is comfortable with seeing a dentist or doctor. You don’t want to have their fear feeding into yours.

Find the Right Providers

Just getting the right dentist or doctor can make a huge difference. Many of them are more welcoming to patients with fears than others. If you want a dentist that you can trust, you might consider approaching one who specializes in patients with fears. Some can offer sedation dentistry so that they can work on you while you’re calm. You can also find doctors who will help to create a calm environment for you so you can reduce stress and anxiety.

Try Some Ways to Relax

Arming yourself with some methods to keep calm can help you face an appointment with your doctor or dentist. There are lots of relaxation techniques you might want to try. For example, some slow and calming breaths can help you to deal with any anxiety you feel. You might also want to squeeze a stress ball or perhaps use some distraction techniques. Most dentists won’t mind if you want to listen to music and some also have TVs.

Don’t let a fear of the dentist or doctor stop you looking after your health. Find ways to deal with your fear so you can care for yourself.

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