It’s good that you are concerned about this. Regular dental care is important, not just for the health of your teeth, but also for your entire body. However, even if you know it’s important, fear and anxiety about seeing a dentist can be a huge overwhelming obstacle.

Fortunately, you aren’t alone and many dentists are trained to help people with these fears. Also, dentistry has changed significantly in recent years, and it is much gentler.

The trick is to find a dentist who you trust. Begin by talking to people you know, especially others who have similar fears or phobias, and truly like their dentist. Community Facebook pages and Yelp can also provide feedback about dentists.

When you find one, read their website for clues about the dentist’s commitment to gentle care. Call the office and discuss how the dentist handles people with dental fears. They may invite you to come in, and just sit in the chair, perhaps progressing to the point that the dentist looks in your mouth without doing any work.

The dentist can discuss techniques and medication that they may use to help ease your anxiety. Try to do this before you have a tooth problem, so you don’t have to face your fears when there is an emergency.