Scared of the dentist? Learn how to overcome your dental fear

By Dr. Brett Silverman | Feb 3, 2021 | Anxiety/Sedation Dentistry, Gentle Dentistry
Scared of the dentist? Learn how to overcome your dental fear

(last updated September 2023)

We’ve all been there…dental fear….Those anticipatory nerves as you walk through the office door and then your stomach drops when your name is called. Not to mention the racing thoughts as you’re blinded by the light while being poked and prodded by sharp tools.

Dental fear is very real and very common.

Common symptoms include rapid heartbeat, anxiety, sweating, shortness of breath, or fainting. These fears keep many people from getting regular dental care.

However, this avoidance can cause serious, long-term health problems. Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Alpharetta is here to support you through this process. Read on to learn more about common dental fears and how you can control them.



Some common dental fears 

Dental fears can often stem from broader fears or bad childhood experiences at the dentist office. Fears flood into many areas of our lives. Traumatic childhood experiences at the dentist office can easily be ingrained into the brain. They tend to find a way to create long-term effects.

Dental fears can show up as:

  • fear of needles
  • fear of loud noises
  • fear of pain
  • fear of gagging/choking
  • the need for control (dislike of not being in full control)

Unfortunately, for people with dental fear, rescheduling appointment after appointment may only increase the time spent in the office. It’s an endless cycle. So is it possible to create a healthy mindset for a peaceful visit?

Do not despair…the answer is yes!

We’ll look at some practical ways to change your mindset and get you smiling for your dentist appointment again.



Dental office advancements and improvements

Dentists have come to realize that this fear affects many people. We have taken steps to ensure a more pleasant experience. We created our office with bright, cozier spaces, friendly faces, art, and quiet music, and even TVs.

Technology has also advanced. Tools have become quieter, more efficient, and less painful. Anesthesia is provided with a new device that also decreases pain.

In addition, our dentists are open for conversations ahead of time to address fears. We are open to talk and answer any questions regarding the process or about our equipment.

Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry believes in gentle dentistry. Our gentle dentists are happy to walk through any fears or questions you may have. We want you to feel comfortable.

Sedation Dentistry – Dr. Morton
Sedation dentistry with Dr. Silverman



Overcoming your fear of the dentist

Fear can be paralyzing and give the illusion that everything is out of your control. Naturally, part of getting over fears is making use of the things that you can control.

Some other practical steps to minimize your dental fears and dental anxiety include:

  • Make early appointments – If you don’t have to let the fear grow all day while you wait in anticipation of your appointment…don’t! Schedule a morning appointment time and move onto the rest of the day.
  • Communicate with our dentist if you need a break – Both checkups and procedures can be uncomfortable and seem long. There is nothing wrong with taking a small breather in between. Establish a sign of sound that lets us know you need a break.
  • Ask our dentist about using a numbing methodOur dentists use a newer, less painful computerized injector used to numb patients. Or we can use a special gel that will numb the mouth before a needle is injected.
  • BYOM (Bring Your Own Music!) – Bring a set of earphones and turn on your favorite tunes. This will establish familiarity and relax the brain.
  • Talk to a counselor – Many have practical techniques and breathing exercises to calm your body and turn off the fear response in your brain. Others have used techniques such as mental imaging and self hypnosis to accomplish this. They are there to help.
  • Anything else? If all else fails and your fears are still paralyzing, ask our dentist if laughing gas, needle-free anesthesia or IV sedation could be used during the appointment.



We want you to feel comfortable at our dental office!

Our dentist office in Alpharetta goes above and beyond in comfort. We want you to relax and feel comfortable. We offer a range of amenities you won’t find in other dental offices.

When in our care, you can enjoy:

  • Heated massage chairs
  • Warm comfort pillows
  • Blankets
  • Supportive neck and back pillows
  • Nitrous oxide and/or IV sedation
  • Virtual reality glasses
  • Bottled water
  • Music
  • An extensive movie list
  • Bose® noise canceling headphone
  • Lip balm
  • Mouth props
  • Warm face cloths (scented)
  • Eye protection

These offerings go above and beyond what most other dentist offices offer because we value you and want you to feel at ease. We want you to experience as little pain or discomfort as possible.

Our doctors, hygienists, and dental assistants are gentle and considerate in nature. In the medical world, patients are often herded in and herded out without particular care paid to each individual. Wait times can be high.

But not at our office. We personally care for each patient. We offer flexible, longer office hours to reduce wait times. Plus, we practice minimally invasive dentistry.

This is great news for your entire family.

By staying up-to-date and following scientific advances, we are able to perform the least amount of invasive dentistry needed while restoring teeth to their normal condition. We also use long-lasting dental materials to reduce the need for future repairs — meaning you’ll have to make fewer trips to the dentist.

Another goal of ours is to educate patients to care for their own teeth. Preventative care is important for maintaining a healthy smile you love to show off.



Say goodbye to dental fear and dental anxiety

Dental fear can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. It may seem easier to avoid the situation altogether.

However, dental health is extremely important and should not be neglected. Use practical ways to shift your mindset and regain control over your fears. Our dentists are here to help. Don’t let fear stop your dental health.

Actually, we believe in gentle dentistry at Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Alpharetta.


What is gentle dentistry?

Gentle dentistry is when the dentist and our entire team strive to make patients feel as comfortable as possible. There are many ways to do this. To achieve this goal, we give our patients exceptional care at every dental appointment.

All of our patients receive compassionate care with as little pain as possible.

We aim to treat you and all members of your family with respect, understanding, and patience. Our qualified doctors and professional team members always take the time to care for you, listen to your concerns, and answer any questions you may have.

When in our office, we want you to feel at home, not afraid or uncomfortable about your dental work. Many patients are anxious about going to the dentist. Maybe the sound of the drill is scary or you haven’t been in a while and are afraid of what the dentist might say.

At our office, we understand these common fears and want help you overcome them. Our staff is friendly and caring. We pay attention to the environment we provide for each patient and the care given from the time you call us on the phone or enter our doors.



People love our dental office!

Maybe you had a bad experience with a dentist in the past. Forget past experiences. At Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we want to give patients an enjoyable experience.

We must be doing something right, as you can see by our many positive testimonials. Check out what a few of our patients said:

“It is always the utmost pleasure to visit this office.”

“The whole staff is amazing and you guys make going to the dentist a great experience.”

“There is not another office in the country that gives you the same expert, gentle care like all of you do! Thank you also for all of the warm, sweet hugs! You really know how to make a patient feel special!”

Our dentist office goes above and beyond in comfort. At Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we want our patients to relax and feel comfortable.



You can always count on Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Alpharetta

Does our compassionate, personal gentle dentistry approach sound appealing to you? If you’re near Alpharetta, come in for your complimentary consultation with our dentists. At this appointment, you can see our office and ask your questions.

We are so grateful you have trusted your dental care to us. We count that not only as an honor, but a responsibility!

To that end, you can trust us to walk with you through any dental fears or anxieties from start to finish. Call us today to schedule your appointment. We look forward to meeting you and your family soon.