No one enjoys going to the dentist, but if your fear of the dentist is so severe that it seriously impacts on your visit or keeps you away altogether, you need to take action to ensure your dental health doesn't suffer. These tips may help you get back to the dentist's chair without unnecessary anxiety.

Talk to your dentist

Nowadays most dentists are well aware of their patients' fears, and are more than happy to address them during the appointment, for example by taking breaks or using extra sedatives. The more you make them aware of your fears and concerns, the more they will be able to help.

Bring a friend

There is no rule that says you have to turn up alone, and an understanding friend or family member can be a great help in keeping you calm. Let your dentist know in advance, and there should be no problem with their turning up.

Use relaxation exercises

Try to control your breathing, taking big breaths and letting them out slowly. This should help to relax your muscles and slow your heartbeat. Meditation may also be helpful - try to learn it a few weeks in advance of your appointment and practise it before you need it.


Find ways to distract yourself from what is going on. Feel free to bring music with headphones—again, let your dentist know in advance what you are doing and why you are doing it, and there should be no problems. Other methods involve counting down from a hundred or replaying music and films in your head.

Keep your teeth healthy

A regular programme of brushing and flossing will cause far fewer dental problems, and will make any future visits run far more smoothly. And get any problems dealt with as quickly as possible—the sooner you get treatment, the milder any discomfort will be.

Think about therapy

If you really can't get over your fear, consider seeing a mental health professional. They are skilled in helping people get over phobias, and should be able to help you return to your regular dental treatment.

Worries about the future can easily be worse than anything that actually happens, and this is certainly true of dental treatment. Work with your dentist to overcome your anxiety, and you should be able to reframe your visit from something to be feared to a regular part of your healthy dental care.