Dental Blog

How Can I Overcome Dental Anxiety?

How Can I Overcome Dental Anxiety?

700 700 Macatawa Smiles

How Can I Overcome Dental Anxiety? Dentist Holland MIWhile people often joke about being afraid of the dentist, having dental anxiety or fear is nothing to laugh about. Dental anxiety can range from feeling mildly nervous to getting sweaty palms and a racing heartbeat upon entering a dental office.

This dental anxiety can be so severe that it prevents people from getting a teeth cleaning and oral examination for years. Delaying dental procedures can result in costly problems for the future.

How Can I Stop Being Afraid of the Dentist?

If you have dental anxiety or phobia, our dentist may recommend sedation dentistry. The goal of sedation dentistry is to help you relax in the dentist’s chair so you can get the care you need to maintain a healthy smile. Our dentist offers laughing gas, which is safe for patients of all ages. While you’ll still be awake for your procedure, laughing gas helps you feel more at ease.

If you feel apprehensive about going to the dentist, simply let our dentist know your feelings. Dental anxiety is more common than most people realize. According to, between 9% and 20% of Americans have dental anxiety or fear that prevents them from seeing a dentist.

What is Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia?

Dental anxiety and phobias have harmful consequences, though each occurs differently. Anxiety is milder and causes general uneasiness, while phobia describes an intense fear or dread.

If you think you suffer from either, you should talk to our dentist. Our dentist has experience helping patients just like you overcome their fears. Communicating with our dentist will only lead to more trust and comfort.

How Do Dentists Reduce Dental Anxiety?

Our dentist can give you laughing gas to help you relax. Laughing gas can be used for any procedure, including your next routine teeth cleaning if needed. Before we begin your procedure, we’ll gently place a mask over your nose that supplies laughing gas. Many of our patients appreciate that laughing gas works within a couple of minutes and is just as quick to wear off once we remove the mask.

Unlike other types of sedation dentistry, you’ll be able to drive yourself home after the procedure. Likewise, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to return to work or school after your appointment with us. Our dentist will make sure you have all the facts you need to decide if laughing gas sedation is the right choice for you.

Related: Is laughing gas safe for children?

If you’ve had a bad prior experience with a dentist, we recommend scheduling your appointment with us as soon as possible. Our dentist can help you overcome your dental anxiety by creating a safe space to talk about your fears. Unlike other offices, we also offer conscious sedation dentistry.

Request an Appointment with Dr. Habecker

Dr. Brenton Habecker and his team want to make sure you get the dental care you need to maintain a healthy smile. To schedule an appointment with our family dentist in Holland MI, call Macatawa Smiles at (616) 396-7524.

This blog post has been updated.


Dear Patient Family,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for all of us. Many of you have been forced to wait for dental care and we appreciate your understanding while we kept our office closed to follow orders from the Governor's Office.

We are happy to say that we are opening our office for all patient treatment on June 1st, 2020. Our hours of operation will go back to normal, Monday-Thursday 8am - 5pm. We want you to know that there will be some changes at your next appointment. Please be patient with us as our protocols will inevitably change as new guidelines are released.

  • We ask that you use our parking lot as the waiting room.
  • Please wear a mask when you come into the office and leave it on until entering the treatment room. Homemade is acceptable.
  • Only the person receiving treatment should come in the building, all others will be asked to wait in the car if at all possible. The exception will be for our minor patients who may have one parent accompany them.
  • We will be asking you some questions when you arrive at the office and we will also be taking your temperature.
  • We will not be able to offer magazines, drinks, or toys at this time as they cannot be disinfected to our standards. Eventually this will change and we will be happy to offer our amenities once again.

These changes have been made to adhere to the latest CDC guidelines and for the benefit of our patients and our staff. We want you to know that our office has always taken the safety of our patients very seriously and that we will continue to follow the highest levels of sterilization and disinfection to keep you protected. If you would like more information on what measures we have taken we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

We cannot say how excited we are to see all of our patients again and to provide for their dental needs. We look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces soon!

Dr. Habecker and Team