Dental Anxiety: Do you suffer?

Dental Anxiety - dentist and nurse treat patient who is lying back in the dentist's chair -

Dental anxiety, or the fear of visiting the dentist, is more common than you might think. It is estimated that around 12% of the British population experience extreme fear when visiting the dentist.  25% of us will experience some sort of anxiety at the prospect of a trip to the local dental surgery.

Dental Anxiety and its Causes

There are many possible causes of dental anxiety, some include:

  • a previous negative experience in the dentist’s chair
  • the sound of the drill
  • feeling of vulnerability in the dentist's chair
  • fear of an injection, or that it won’t work
  • anxiety about being able to breathe or swallow
  • fear of having a panic attack
  • fear the dentist will trigger the gag reflex; or
  • it could be a learnt behaviour from a relative or friend


Whatever the cause of your dental anxiety, Hypnotherapy, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) can all help you.  They work very effectively to eliminate phobias; resolve bad memories; and calm and relax dental patients. These techniques are powerful antidotes to fear, panic, and anxiety.

Some patients even get anxious at the thought of making an appointment with their dentist. Relax! Be gentle on yourself and take one step at a time. Speak to your local hypnotherapist directly and find out how they can help those fears melt away.

A number of studies have shown that relaxation techniques can help reduce levels of stress hormones as well as pain and anxiety so, until you see the hypnotherapist, here’s a tip to help calm you in the meantime.

Heather Denny, the Hypnotherapist offers hypnotherapy for dental anxiety in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire AL8 7NQ.  Give Heather a call on 07834 754608 to find out how hypnotherapy for anxiety can help you overcome dental anxiety

Practice this relaxing breathing exercise to help lower mild dental anxiety:

Find yourself a place to relax; take a deep breath and as you exhale say to yourself ‘relax’.

Now, as you settle down and your breath becomes regular, mentally count how long it takes you to naturally breathe in. Then as you breathe out try to double the length of time for your out breath. So, if you counted to 2 on your in breath try and extend your out breath to a count of 4; if you counted 3 on your in breath extend your out breath to a count of 6, you get the idea? 

It might take a little while to get the hang of it but be gentle with yourself. With a little practice you will find that you start to feel comfortably relaxed. In fact I’ve taught this technique to many of my clients who have difficulty falling asleep and it works like a dream! In time, and with regular practice, you’ll find you’re able to introduce a little oasis of calm into your life by using this breathing technique when you feel a little bit stressed.