Back To Blog

Dental Anxiety and How to Deal With It

18 August 2016

If you're the kind of person who always puts off going to the dentist until there really is no other option left, you're potentially setting yourself up for a lot of pain and health problems in the future.

But, of course you already knew that, right? That lifelong fear you've had of visiting the dentist is something you know is irrational, and you want to get past it, but you're just not sure how to do it.

Dental Anxiety: The stats and why it’s so common

Fear of dentists is incredibly common. Studies have shown that as many as 3 in 4 people admit to some degree of fear about a dental visit. While the studies indicate that more women than men are afraid of going to the dentist, it could simply be that women are more open about discussing fear. 

It's probably more likely that all genders are equally affected. There are many things that can cause the onset of this particular phobia. For example, quite a lot of kids in more ancient times (like the 20th Century) were forced to endure school dental visits sponsored by the government.

Many veterans of these visits have horror stories to tell, because the quality of supply was very much a matter of luck. While obviously some of those dentists were quite skilled, the odds weren't particularly in favour of getting a good dentist.

The harsh economic reality is that most of the best dentists had busy private practices and simply didn't have time to go gallivanting around schools putting fillings in milk teeth (which technically don't even need filling, since they're going to fall out anyway).

So that's one very common reason why so many people developed these fears. There's also something known as vicarious learning, which basically is a situation where you may not have had a bad experience yourself but you develop a fear because of hearing about the bad experience of someone else.

Whatever the reason for your fear, you need to get over it, because there's a very high chance that during your lifetime you are going to have a dental emergency. Most dental emergencies are preventable with proper maintenance and care, and there are actually many other good reasons to get regular dental check ups.

Overcoming dental anxiety

Modern dentistry is much more efficient, reliable, safe and comfortable than it generally was in times past. You really shouldn't have any great need for excess anxiety.

If you are feeling nervous, the best thing you can do is simply consult a dentist and talk with them about their methods and how they would perform an examination of your teeth.

The dentist will never do something that you haven't consented to, so you don't have to worry about getting a big surprise. During a dental exam, the primary purpose is to discover any problems and make you aware of them.

You can then make informed decisions about the treatment of those problems. It can also help to talk with people who have recently received any kind of dental treatment, especially if it is a treatment similar to that which you are seeking.

You can also find information online, both as text and video. In fact there are plenty of resources to help you learn more.

A more serious but often very effective remedy is hypnotism, and even if you're sceptical, it is worth a try if you're unable to get over your fears any other way. We also offer oral and IV sedation.   

Recent Reviews

Claire Bowe

“I attended many other dentists and received quotes for €3k-€4k and was told I needed upper and lower braces. I then visited 3Dental and was told that I only needed upper braces and the price was...”

Jennifer O Brien

“I got an emergency appointment today within 2 hours. Lovely staff, very helpful and professional.”

Nick Rowe

“Excellent service and friendly staff. Highly recommended if you have any dental needs.”

Declan Cullen

“Fantastic pain free and friendly service. Hadn’t been to the dentist for a few years. At 3Dental they were so professional in their advice regarding treatment. I might even start enjoying going to...”

Finn McGeever

“Rang in for an appointment at 10am on a Saturday and got a booking for 11:20am the same morning. The dentist was very nice and sorted me out straight away. I was in and out within 10 minutes. The...”

Imelda Fisher

“I would highly recommend 3Dental. I had fillings recently and the dentist was so thorough, I need further treatment and this was explained in detail and without any pressure whatsoever. They really...”

Hayley Nolan

“I just could not be any happier with my results from Dr Niall Vallely in 3Dental. I was so so unhappy with my teeth for years would never smile in pictures and finally opted for composite bonding....”

P F

“It is without hesitation I recommend Dr. Andoni for dental implants. I had the smile in a day procedure done and I can honestly say I had no pain or discomfort at all. 3Dental was recommended to me...”

Rachel Whelan

“Just had composite bonding done by Dr. Carmen and I couldn’t be any happier with the final look. I can’t stop smiling she is amazing and so professional. I would 100 percent recommend.”

Carol Devlin

“I’d recommend 3Dental at Red Cow if you are looking to get braces or any dental work done. From the first day 3yrs ago I took my son about getting braces to now. They have been nothing but amazing in...”

Cormac Hegarty

“Best Dental Practice in Dublin. Got an implant fitted over 2 years ago, excellent job and have been attending for general dental upkeep since then. My wife has also joined 3Dental recently. Highly...”

Lorcan Mcauliffe

“Considering having the perfect smile? I cannot recommend 3Dental Limerick enough! I attended the practice last year for a consultation for clear braces to straighten my smile and less than a year...”

Kaitlyn Salmon

“Ms. Rosario Costello was an excellent hygienist. Very friendly and thorough. I had a great experience and look forward to my next appointment. Thank you team 3Dental Limerick!”

Sinead Guiry

“I have been attending 3Dental for almost a year now, and I highly recommend their services. The staff have been so accommodating and approachable. You feel at ease the minute you walk through the...”

Keith Nealon

“I went in for a very small procedure of teeth whitening, and although it's a small job the staff were amazing. From Dr. Ker Her Tan and her lovely assistant that were so nice and had great craic with...”

Sinead Greene

“Thank you so much to the 3Dental Limerick team especially Jennifer who was beyond helpful to my elderly mum and I when we attended for recent appointments. Jennifer helped my mum who has mobility...”

Simon Codyre

“Staff were so kind, great welcome when we arrived. My child felt so at ease. The dentist was so kind and the dental nurse was very kind also. I would highly recommend my friends and family to attend...”

John Murray

“On my first visit to 3Dental I met a very professional team who listened to my concerns and explained everything clearly to me. I assume my follow up visits will be likewise.”

Rory O'Neill

“If like me you are terrified of going to the dentist, then 3Dental is the only show in town now. I needed implants and crowns and the value that I got from Dr. O'Connell was far more competitive than...”

Diane Murphy Donegan

“My 9 year old son recently had 2 tooth extractions on separate occasions with Paul. After how smooth the first one went I had absolutely no issues getting him to go in for the second. 3Dental is a...”

Ready for the Next Step? Book Your Free Consultation

Book A Consultation View Pricing Options