How a Dentist Can Help With Dental Anxiety

Dental Anxiety Alexandria, VA

Dental anxiety is a common problem that almost everyone struggles with from time to time. Most people experience it before and during a procedure or appointment. While it may seem difficult to overcome, it is possible with the help of an experienced dentist. Continue reading to find out more!

Four ways that a dentist can help relieve dental anxiety

Outlined below are a few ways that a dentist can help patients with dental anxiety. Review this information when preparing for an appointment or procedure.

Explanations and guidance

One of the most common ways that a dentist will try to help with dental anxiety is by providing guidance and explanations. Guidance comes in handy for certain procedures that may be unknown to the patient. Having the dentist or dental assistant guide the patient through each step can be helpful in relieving dental anxiety, as much of it stems from fear of the unknown. 

Additionally, the dentist can provide thorough explanations as to what the procedure may entail beforehand. Explanations allow the patient to have a better understanding of what is going to happen. This may help ease nerves and reduce dental anxiety that comes from not knowing what to expect. 


A simple but effective way that a dentist can help with dental anxiety is by having the patient take breaks. Certain dental procedures and even routine appointments can be hard on the patient, especially when they are struggling with anxiety. Taking breaks every few minutes allows the patient to take a deep breath and relax momentarily. Breaks also allow the dentist to ask the patient if they are feeling okay, etc. 


Distractions are ideal for reducing dental anxiety. Many dental offices are equipped with televisions to allow the patient to focus on something else during the appointment. It may also be suggested that the patient bring headphones to listen to music throughout the appointment, as this can be a distraction from what is happening. Additionally, music helps block out the unfamiliar sounds that may come from dental instruments. 


In some cases, dentists can administer a sedative to help with dental anxiety. Of course, more advanced procedures will automatically involve the use of a sedative. However, for minor procedures or appointments, such as cleanings or filling placement, a low-level sedative, such as nitrous oxide, may be offered to reduce feelings of anxiousness. 

Find out more from a dentist

When struggling with dental anxiety, it is important to know that working with a dentist can be helpful. Dentists are trained to not only perform the necessary oral care but also ensure that it is carried out smoothly, which means helping with dental anxiety. To learn more about dental anxiety and what a dentist can do, reach out today!

When Request an appointment here: or call Alexandria Old Town Dental at (703) 763-1078 for an appointment in our Alexandria office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Anxiety in Alexandria, VA.

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