How to manage dental phobia for oral surgery

How to manage dental phobia for oral surgery

Do you sweat profusely at the mention of the word dentist? Do you have a bad toothache for days before you cave in and get an appointment? When you see a dentist office building do you turn around and drive the opposite direction?

If you answered yes, then you might have dentophobia. For many who fear the dentist, the worst possible torture comes at the hands of an oral surgeon. Fear of going to the dentist causes sleeplessness and anxiety. It can make a person endure extreme pain from a broken tooth or to try DIY dentistry. Most likely your fear falls into the anxiety category but there are many people who suffer from phobia.

Anxiety and dentists seems to be a common fear. Studies show that millions of people avoid seeing a dentist due to anxiety. But, never fear. There are some tricks to help soothe the stress of tooth extraction and the dreaded dentist’s office.


Step 1


Find a dentist you trust. Ask friends and relatives for recommendations. Get testimonials from formers patients. Do some research. Browse online and find a dental phobia group. Talking to others often helps relieve anxiety and reduce stress.

Step 2


Talk to the dentist and find out if he/she adheres to Gentle Dentistry. Dentists certified by Gentle Dentistry supposedly focus on their own skills by improving dental techniques, using new technology and taking the time to meet customer needs.

Step 3

Ask questions

If a tooth is being extracted, find out what the procedure involves in order to avoid surprises. Ask if the dentist uses an oral analgesic like a numbing gel. Although a little extreme, shadowing a dentist and another patient during a similar treatment often helps relieve anxiety.

Step 4


Ask a friend to go with you for support. Remember to take magazine, a hand-held game or a word puzzle to try to stay relaxed in the waiting room. If allowed sip some tea or water. If tension still persists, ask support person for a shoulder rub.

Step 5

Distraction techniques

Many dentists offer virtual reality headsets to allow patients to view television. Others provide headsets with music. It’s a good idea to take an iPod or similar device loaded with favorite tunes. Once the ear buds are tucked in, crank up the volume to drown out the cracking noises and the gluppity sound of decayed tooth being pulled from the gums.

Step 6

Be positive

Listen to a relaxation tape or concentrate on your «happy place». Think about how much better you will feel after your infected tooth is gone.

Step 7

The Wand

During injections the release of the Novocain or other drug used is often what causes the most pain. If it goes in too fast or the dentist pushes too hard, pain is more severe. Made by CompuDent, The Wand is computerized to deliver the anesthetic more efficiently. A needle is still used but the patient feels a tiny prick instead of intense pain.

Step 8


Sedation for oral surgery and other dental procedures makes the patient drowsy. Dentists use oral, intravenous and inhalation sedation to help patients go to the land of dreams avoiding any potential pain. If you really just cannot deal with injections to numb the treatment area, this technique is the least traumatic.

Things Needed
• a dentist you trust
• insurance card
• comfortable clothing
• a support person
• Ibuprofen to help relax
• magazines or newspaper
• a loaded MP3 player or iPod with ear buds
• a positive attitude

Tips & Warnings
• Find out the cost involved and plan accordingly
• Avoid obsessing about your oral surgery
• Talk to oral surgeon about pain relief options
• Use relaxation techniques once you are in the chair
• Think about how much better you will feel with no more toothache
• Listen to your favorite songs
• Get a prescription before you leave the office
• Make sure you have a driver
• File insurance claims


Comment: 3
    Gibbond  30.07.2015 23:35

    I go into a mild shock at the prospect of going to the dentist.
    I’ve had some horrible experiences in the past.
    If and when I ever have to have dental work done, they’re gonna have to knock me out and wake me up when it’s all over. I’m a total chicken.
    Shadowing a dentist and a patient … not on your life.

    Last  23.10.2015 17:36

    Love the picture!! Some very good tips here but just seeing this stuff makes me uneasy. Still, good guide, good info! It might be the Dental Care in the news that creeps me out. Why would anyone want to read dental news?

    Crewdson  04.11.2015 15:01

    Great job — still doesn’t stop me from dreading the upcoming visit to have all of my bottom teeth taken out and my jaw operated on 😉

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