Many people are afraid to go to the dentist. Anesthetics and other techniques of modern dentistry make most such fears unnecessary, but if you or someone you know still suffers from this anxiety, here are a few useful tips and exercises.

First, assess the intensity of your fear using the Dental Anxiety Questionnaire (click to open pdf in new window).

Then, assess the sources of your fear using the Dental Fear Inventory (click to open pdf in new window).

You may then use the following relaxation exercise to reduce your anxiety:

  • Inhale slowly and deeply, counting to five at one-second intervals. Between each count, think of a single word, such as “calm” or “peace” to help free your mind from distracting or stressful thoughts.
  • Hold your breath for one second, then exhale slowly, counting backward from five to one and silently repeating your chosen word. At the same time, let your check and stomach muscles relax, and drop your shoulders.
  • Repeat this cycle three times.

Ask your dentist about other ways to reduce anxiety and allay fears of specific procedures. Overcoming your fear will make dental treatment a far less emotionally painful experience, and you may also find you feel more confident and calm.

Hear at Dental Partners of Fifth Avenue, we’re hear to remedy your dental anxiesties as your family dentist in NYC!