A finger turns wooden blocks from PANIC to CALM for a blog post about easing dental anxiety

Maybe you had a bad experience at the dentist before, are worried about pain, or feel uneasy about having instruments in your mouth. If you get nervous or feel afraid just at the thought of going to the dentist, you might suffer from dental anxiety or dental fear, called odontophobia. Other signs include sweaty palms, an increased heart rate, or panic attacks before or during a dental treatment.

Dental fear can be so debilitating that it prevents patients from getting their twice annual cleanings and examinations. Over time, this can contribute to the development of serious dental issues.

Here are a few ways you can overcome your fear of the dentist and enjoy positive oral health.

  1. Breathe
  2. Deep breathing can help calm your body’s nervous system and ease your body out of fight-or-flight. Before you enter your dentist’s office, take a few deep belly breaths to calm your mind and body down. From there, you can take slow inhales in, hold them for seven seconds, and then slowly exhale for eight seconds. Repeat the cycle until you feel less anxious.

  3. Bring Someone with You
  4. Bringing a friend or family member for support can help you feel calmer during your treatment.

  5. Tour the Office Before Your Treatment
  6. Going to a new, unfamiliar place can be scary. If it’s your first time visiting a new dental office, contact your dental office beforehand and ask to take a tour of the office. You can also ask if you can chat with your dentist beforehand to get to know them and better understand what will happen during your visit. (Get to know Dr. Friedmann and the Hermitage Dental Group team here!).

  7. Get Sedation
  8. Sedation dentistry involves medication that helps you relax during your dental treatment. From nitrous oxide to IV sedation, there are different types of dental sedation that can help you feel at ease depending on the length and type of your treatment.

Gentle Dentistry in Hermitage, TN

Hermitage Dental Group offers comprehensive dental services in a relaxing atmosphere so that our patients can obtain the treatments they need to maintain healthy smiles. We hope to make your visit with us as stress-free as possible! Contact us to learn more about our office, treatments, flexible financial options, and sedation dentistry.


Drawing of a brunette woman with dental anxiety with her head in her hands against a blue background

Do you experience dental anxiety? Our team at Hermitage Dental Group understands how debilitating anxiety can be. We love helping patients overcome their fears and have positive experiences at the dentist. In this blog post, we suggest tips to reduce your dental anxiety!

Help Yourself Stay Relaxed

Make the necessary preparations to keep your visit as easy and stress-free as possible. For example, eat (then brush your teeth) so you aren’t hangry and wear comfortable clothing.

Additionally, give yourself ample time to get to your appointment. Head over to our office early so you won’t feel rushed if you get caught in traffic or need to stop for gas.

If you can schedule your visits on days when your schedule is a little lighter and you have less to worry about, that can help ease anxiety.

We also recommend that patients plan on doing something fun after their dental visits that they can look forward to, even if it’s something small like going on a walk or watching your favorite movie.

Utilize Dental Sedation

Dental sedation is an excellent way to reduce dental anxiety safely and effectively. Consult with our team to determine the best form of sedation for your unique needs!

For patients who have mild to moderate dental anxiety or want a sedation option that will wear off quickly, we recommend nitrous oxide (also called laughing gas). This is inhaled via a nose mask.

Oral conscious sedation is a prescribed pill that induces an even deeper state of relaxation. This will make you drowsy and less aware of your surroundings, but you can still respond to questions.

Our office also provides IV sedation. This medication is administered directly into your bloodstream to put you into a relaxed, sleep-like state.

Communicate with Our Team

Whether you have recently developed dental anxiety or it’s something you’ve dealt with for as long as you can remember, we don’t want you to suffer in silence. Sometimes asking a few questions about a treatment can help to make it far less scary and intimidating.

Our team would be happy to go over your treatment with you so you’ll know what to expect. By asking questions and being open about your fears, our friendly and compassionate team can work with you to reduce your anxious thoughts and feelings.

Contact us today for additional tips to overcome your dental anxiety!