Are you experiencing dental phobia? We can help! 

It’s common for people to feel a little uneasiness before coming into the dentist. But for millions of Americans, that uneasiness manifests as dental phobia. In fact, as many as 20% of people report they avoid going to the dentist because of it!

Here are a few signs you may have dental phobia:

  • You haven’t been to the dentist in a long time 
  • You get nervous as soon as you walk into the dentist office
  • You have delayed getting dental treatment before, even when you’ve been in pain
  • You feel very uneasy when you sit in the dental chair
  • You’re worried about being criticized about your dental hygiene 

Did you know? At Timberhill Dental, you can elect to meet your dentist, discuss any concerns, and get a tour of the office and our spa-like amenities before you schedule your treatment. 

Contact us today to set up your complimentary consultation! 

Causes of dental phobia 

We already know it’s very common for people to experience even minor anxiety before visiting the dentist. But the reasons behind these fears vary greatly. Let’s take a look at a few common causes of dental phobia. 

Fear of…

  • Pain
  • Injections
  • Helplessness
  • Judgment

One of the worst things that can come from dental phobia is delaying regular exams or treatment. This can lead to compounding dental problems and require even more dentist visits to treat properly. 

Identifying the cause of dental phobia and discussing it with your dentist is key for maintaining your oral health in the long term.

5 tips to help manage your dental phobia

One of the best things you can do to help ease your dental phobia is to communicate with your dentist. 


1. Talk with your dentist about your fears 

If you’re nervous about the dental procedure hurting you or feeling pain in your mouth, let your dentist know beforehand. Your hygienist and dentist are there to help, and can go over the procedure with you beforehand to ensure you have clear expectations to help ease your anxiety. 

Here at Timberhill Dental, we’ll talk with you about your worries and discuss the best treatment option for you. This could be something as simple as providing you with a warm comforting blanket at your appointment, to trying our conscious sedation dentistry. 


2. Develop a system to show when you are feeling uncomfortable and need space

We can see how some patients might feel claustrophobic when they visit the dentist. Maybe they feel overly confined in the dental chair, or perhaps it’s the simple fact of having their mouth open but being unable to speak clearly that causes discomfort.

If this is the case for you, simply tell your dental hygienist and dentist beforehand. We will work out a communication system — like raising your hand — that will signal us when you need a moment of space. 


3. Know that our dentists won’t judge

Perhaps you put off treatment and feel ashamed or embarrassed about the current state of your mouth. Or, maybe you haven’t been in to see the dentist for years and are worried about what they’ll find when they finish their exam. Will they scold you for not flossing? Or tease you about finding two cavities? 

Our doctors and team at Timberhill Dental want you to know that we will never judge you for the state of your mouth. We’re here to welcome you with care and compassion and are dedicated to helping you reconnect with your oral health, wherever you’re at. 


4. Practice deep breathing 

When we get anxious, we tend to breathe shallower and faster. This in turn raises your heart rate and causes your muscles to tense up. 

As you’re sitting in the waiting room or laying in the dentist’s chair and start to feel your breathing speeding up or your heart rate increase, take a second to steady your breath. Taking deep, nasal breaths not only relaxes muscle tension that may arise when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, but it also signals the brain that it’s okay to relax.


5. Distract yourself 

Does the sound of the drill bother you? Or maybe it’s the moment the dentist chair begins to recline. Whatever the reason for feeling uneasy at the dentist, try distracting yourself to keep yourself calm. 

You could: 

  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Picture a calming environment and imagine as many specific details about it as you can
  • Think of a positive memory and try to remember it in as much detail as possible

Your experience at Timberhill Dental

Here at Timberhill Dental, we are committed to providing you with the most comfortable, caring dental experience possible. It’s our goal to create a relaxing environment for all of our patients through our friendly and capable team, high-tech equipment, and focus on your health and safety.

While we’re not offering all of our famous amenities right now you can still enjoy a complimentary cookie and cup of coffee!


COVID Precautions 

We are now taking extensive measures to make sure that our staff and patients are safe and protected from COVID-19. We are following infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

We also recently installed a completely new HVAC system which includes a hospital-grade air filter and purifying system. In fact, it is considerably more powerful than what you’ll find in most hospitals.

It will filter out and kill all pathogens — including the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Perio disease was recently linked to more serious COVID symptoms so it’s really important that you continue to see your dentist on a regular basis.


Sedation dentistry options

Our sedation dentistry treatments are simple, and do not include needles or intravenous medications at all! 

Step 1: You’ll get an oral medication to take an hour before your scheduled appointment. This medication will help you feel relaxed and at ease, but will also leave you feeling a little drowsy. You will need to have a family member or friend drive you to your appointment. 

Step 2: Once you’re in the dental chair, you may choose to have nitrous oxide administered through an over-the-nose mask to help ease your anxiety even further. 

Step 3: You’ll be in a very relaxed and dream-like state. We will monitor your vital signs throughout your treatment to ensure you are entirely safe and comfortable. 

Step 4: You’ll be all done! Many patients who have received conscious sedation report little to no memory of their visit to the office. 

Ease your dental phobia today 

 Give us a call at (541) 754-0144, or schedule your appointment online today.