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Tips to Overcome Severe Dental Anxiety

Manhattan Beach Endodontist

Most people experience a level of discomfort at the idea of having to visit the dentist’s office. It is not unusual to feel any type of anxiety before visiting your dentist. Why do so many people fear going to the dentist? A few reasons could be fear of a painful experience, feeling helpless, or being embarrassed about your current dental health status.


Ocean View Dental makes it their mission to ensure that every patient feels comfortable and at ease during their visits. Here are some tips that may help your next visit to the dentist be a pleasant experience:

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Talk with your dentist about your fear and anxiety, so they would provide you with the right information about the procedure to alleviate any discomfort. They will do everything that’s in their power to make you feel stress-free and as comfortable as possible. It is not rare that many patients end up saying that their fear was even worse than the procedure actually was. Often we tend to overthink a procedure that we do not fully understand. Prevent this by asking questions about what you don’t understand. There is no such thing as a stupid question!


Another tip would be to ask your dentist if you could use your headphones during the procedure. Listening to music that you like might help you to feel calmer and block out all the frightening sounds of the drill. Make sure you discuss this beforehand with your dentist to make sure your headphones are not in the way of any procedure. Consider a soothing playlist to help keep you anxiety free.




Ask your dentist about what kind of Sedation Dentistry they offer. Many offices can give different levels of local and general anesthesia to make your procedure completely painless. Each patient’s pain threshold is different, although people with high anxiety tend to have a lower pain threshold.  If you experience any type of pain during the procedure, feel free to ask your dentist for some additional numbing agent. Your doctor wouldn’t want you to feel uncomfortable, so he will be able to apply some more numbing gel or other local anesthesia in order to minimize your pain.

Anti-anxiety medication

Most of the dental offices are able to provide anti-anxiety medication for their patients. This can reduce dental fear and anxiety during the dental visit. If you feel that you might need this type of help, feel free to ask your dentist for anti-anxiety medication before the procedure and make sure it will not interfere with anything else your doctor might prescribe or current medications.


Most of the dental offices provide chair-side TV’s so the patient would be able to watch movies and favorite TV shows during the procedure. This provides a comfortable distraction from the procedure and will help keep your mind from focusing on what is happening in your mouth!


Emotional Support

If you are able to bring someone you trust and love – do that! Bringing company that serves as emotional support can definitely comfort you and reduce your dental fear and anxiety.

Breathing Exercises

As you wait for your appointment, it might be beneficial to try some breathing exercises to help regulate your heart rate and control your breathing. Take a minute to sit down, count to ten, and relax. Or try this exercise below!



Arrive early

Make sure you arrive at your dentist office early. This will give you time to read a magazine or book in the waiting room or take a breather so you can manage your stress and anxiety levels better.

If you are still struggling with crippling anxiety after trying these methods, it might be time to consider professional help. It is detrimental to your health to avoid seeing a dentist.  

Any Questions?

At Ocean View Dental Group, we want to make sure that every visit you have with us is pleasant and comfortable.  We hope that our tips will help you to manage your fear and anxiety prior your dental visit. If you have any questions or if you are interested in our large variety of treatments, feel free to visit us at Ocean View Dental Group. You can reach out to us by calling us: (310) 372-8188.


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