Your Fears are Normal. Fear of dentists is very common. Often an upsetting childhood dental experience has lasting effects into adulthood. Sometimes people “inherit” fears from parents, whose experiences with dentists may have been traumatic. But dentists are better trained today and have tools and techniques to minimize discomfort.

Find a Good Dentist for You. Finding a dentist who understands that you are anxious and will work with you will increase your comfort. Many dentists offer practices with variety of solutions that may include sedation, hypnosis, and lots of reassurance. Talk to people you know about their dentists to find one who is sympathetic. Schedule an office visit to meet the dentist without doing any dental work. This will give you an opportunity to evaluate the office. Be prepared to pay for the dentist’s time.

Sedation is an Option. The dentist can provide a number of sedation options. They range from giving you a pill that you take an hour before coming to the office to calm you, to general anesthesia. While Novocaine will numb your mouth so you cannot feel pain. many people are fearful of the needle. A dentist can use a local anesthetic to numb the area before beginning the injection.

Step by Step you don’t have to do it all at once. Schedule an examination so you can meet the dentist. Then come back for a cleaning. A couple of successful, low stress experiences, will help you cope.