How to Overcome Dental Anxiety in Elderly Patients

By | March 28, 2017

Dental phobias come in many forms and as a result, produce fears that can force many to avoid seeing a dentist. For elderly patients this is especially true. Sometimes a bad experience many years ago or some other trigger – like the sound of a dental drill – can leave a lasting impression.
Dental anxiety elderly patients

However, when a tooth needs attention that only a dentist can provide, it often means trying to face that fear. As it turns out, dentists are very aware of the fears that can result from what they do for a living. This is why most dental offices have solutions to help you overcome yours.

Don’t Be Afraid To Say You Have A Fear

The first step in dealing with your dental phobia is to share it with the receptionist when you make your appointment. This will allow the dental staff to meet with you and discuss what the procedure will be and determine the source of your anxiety so it can be addressed.

If your concern revolves around the sound of the equipment being used, you will have an opportunity to look over all instruments. You may be encouraged to wear headphones during the procedure to take your mind off of the sounds that will then be muffled and masked.

Various Ways Your Dentist Will Assist You


Your dentist wants to focus on treating your dental issue but understands that it will be difficult if you feel uncomfortable in any way. This is why they will work with you to calm your fears. This may include the use of nitrous oxide – laughing gas – to help relax you in the dental chair.

Another way to deal with a dental phobia is by having a friend accompany you to the appointment. You may even have your friend sit with you during the procedure to help keep you calm. This is a normal request so you do not have to feel uncomfortable asking to do this.

Be sure to ask questions about the procedure and what you can expect. If you have a fear of pain, your dentist has tools that can be used instead of a needle, should that be the cause of your anxiety. Also, request to have a signal you can use if you need a break during the dental work.

Your Dentist Is Prepared To Help

Regardless of how trivial you may think the dentist will view your fear, rest assured that they will take your concerns seriously and work with you to find a suitable solution. Dental procedures have changed over the years with advances in technology and techniques. If you have had a bad experience in the past, it is very possible that an updated method will remove all your fears, making your visit less stressful.

Your dentist wants you to have a positive experience so that you won’t stay away should you need additional treatment in the future. Whether it is just for an overdue dental check-up or to have some work done on your false teeth, you should not keep putting off going to your dentist.

Elderly patients are not the only ones with dental phobias and that is why your dental professional is prepared to help you through your anxiety. They want you to be a happy and satisfied patient rather than one afraid to have dental work done.


Your dentist wants you to have a positive experience so that you won’t stay away should you need additional treatment in the future. Since elderly patients are not the only ones with dental phobias, your dental professional will be experienced with this situation and very understanding and prepared to help you through your anxiety. They want you to be a happy and satisfied patient rather than one afraid to have dental work done.

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