Had A Bad Dentist Experience? Here’s What You Can Do

Have you ever had a bad dentist experience? Unfortunately, we’ve come to tell you that you are not alone. The truth is many people had a bad experience at the dentist in the past. While it is always sad to hear about this kind of situation happening, we must prevent history from repeating itself.

bad dental practice

Have you ever had a bad dentist experience? Unfortunately, we’ve come to tell you that you are not alone. The truth is many people had a bad experience at the dentist in the past. For that, we are genuinely sorry that you had to deal with this traumatic experience. While it is always sad to hear about this kind of situation happening, we must prevent history from repeating itself.

This article should warn you about a bad dentist and what you can do if you happen to encounter one. We take dental anxiety seriously because it should not happen to anyone. Luckily, we are here to provide you with some coping strategies that will help you overcome the challenges of dental anxiety from a bad dentist experience.


How Traumatic Experience Can Lead to Dental Anxiety

Studies show that about five to eight percent of the population purposely avoid going to their dentists out of fear. People who consider themselves to have dental anxiety can rise to twenty percent.


So, what exactly is dental anxiety?

We can associate the term dental anxiety with people who fear the unknown dangers of a dental visit. These are individuals who choose to avoid the dentist and delay dental treatments until it is badly needed. When a patient has dental anxiety, they can receive overwhelming feelings that come from various factors. Triggers such as dental drills, needles, or the dental setting can cause the patient to become nervous.


What connects a bad dentist experience with dental anxiety?

dealing with anxiety

Dental anxiety is a common concern that affects a wide range of the population. Most people find themselves feeling anxious to some degree, especially when they had a bad experience. A person who has dental anxiety worries that something terrible may happen, repeating their past. They always anticipate the negative consequences of their actions, thus delaying their response or not acting at all.


What could happen from dental anxiety?

A bad experience can cause a patient to be apprehensive about what could happen in the future. This kind of feeling leads them to deprive themselves of receiving dental care. Failure to get the proper dental treatment can cause their oral health to deteriorate. This vicious cycle will continue until it causes problems with their overall health. A poor dental state could lead to serious health complications, ultimately affecting their quality of life.


Coping with Bad Dentist Experience

Despite our bad experiences and current fears, we can still learn how to stay on top of these feelings. Many practical ways can help us overcome anxiety. Here are some coping strategies that can help us break away from the chains of dental anxiousness and past experiences.


  • Distraction Therapy

When we keep ourselves busy, we tend to steer our attention away from overthinking. Distraction therapy tricks our minds to shift their focus on something else. By doing so, we refrain from having negative thoughts about the situation.

Distraction therapy can come in simple forms of diversions such as listening to music, watching tv, or chatting with the dentist.


  • Deep Breathing Techniques

Deep breathing is a kind of relaxation technique that we can use in most stressful situations. It involves taking a deep breath, holding it for a short time, and slowly exhaling it. This process will deliberately relax your muscles and slow down your heart rate.


  • Muscle Relaxation

Another technique that will help you loosen up the tension is progressive muscle relaxation. You can perform this approach by repetitively flexing and relaxing different muscle groups one by one. Doing this will shift your focus in concentrating on your movements, helping your body release stress.


  • Personalized Coping Strategies

If you cannot resolve your dental anxiety’s root cause, you can find other ways to deal with it. It would be best if you can talk to your dentist about this concern. Some patients control the situation by developing hand signals or tapping their dentists when they need short breaks. This simple technique will provide you a time for a pause in case you have an overwhelming feeling.


  • Cognitive Therapy

This type of approach helps with dental anxiety by progressively easing from various situations. For example, your dentist will discuss a root canal’s basic procedures before you undergo the actual root canal treatment. It focuses on interacting with the patient and introducing the techniques little by little.

He or she might show you the dental devices necessary for your root canal procedure until you become comfortable around it. After this therapy, you will notice a significant decrease in your dental anxiety.


  • Anti-anxiety Medications

Medicines such as Valium will help you relax in stressful situations. However, you are not supposed to take anti-anxiety medication unless your psychiatrist prescribes it to you. It is also best if you could use anti-anxiety medicines in conjunction with other therapies.


  • Sedation Techniques

Most dentists will suggest providing sedatives to cope with your anxiety. This technique will keep you between a variety of sleep and wake states, which relieves your worries. During your dental treatment, you will remain fully conscious but would not feel any discomfort or pain.


  • General Anaesthetic

Sleep dentistry is one of the most popular anxiety-coping strategies. This procedure involves the professional help of an anesthetist specialist. This technique is your dentist’s last resort when there are no other mitigation measures that could help alleviate your anxiety. However, sleep dentistry is also suitable for young children and people who will undergo lengthy surgical treatments.


Lawfully Dealing with A Bad Dentist Experience

Whether it is awful dental malpractice or improper patient care, no one would want to have a bad dentist experience. If you’re going to file a lawsuit against your dentist, it is essential to know if you have a good case. Below are some legal principles that you should prove to file your lawsuit successfully.

sue your dentist


  • Professional Duty

Your dentist owes you a duty if you can provide proof that you are his or her patient. The dentist must also accept you as a patient and agree to treat your dental concerns.


  • Breach in Standard of Care

There should be sufficient proof that your dentist is acting below the acceptable standards of care. In essence, dentists have to work in a similar way that other dentists would do when under the same circumstances. This element requires you to seek a second opinion from another dentist with the same degree of practice. The second dentist must testify that the said dentist has acted below their profession’s standard of care.


  • Causation

It would be best to establish that your dentist’s negligent act is mainly responsible for your injury. Some dentists may argue that the damage would happen even without negligence. As such, the dentist will defend the case because they are not mainly responsible for the harm done. If you want to win your case, you must be able to clearly show that your dentist made a mistake that has been causing you additional impairment.


  • Damages

There is no case if there are no damages. You must prove that these damages caused you to pay for other dental services or skipped personal matters because of the injury. These damages are often in the form of anything quantifiable, as a monetary value. Even if your dentist clearly shows negligence, there will still be no dental malpractice case if you did not get any harm.


Influences of A Good Dental Treatment

It only takes a good oral health experience to lower an individual’s negative perception of dental treatments. You can prove to a person with dental anxiety that not all dental visits will be the same from their experience. Positivity from both the dentist and the patient will allow them to reach a harmonious environment. The healthcare delivery will become easy and helps in successfully attaining their goals.


How To Find A Good Dentist

When choosing a dentist, it is essential to know how to differentiate good ones from the rest. Here are some helpful tips that you can look after before making your decision.


  • Staff Queries. It is always necessary to pay close attention to your first impressions. Your evaluation should begin from scheduling your appointment to conversations with their dental staff. It would be nice to keep in mind that an excellent dental clinic practices a professional approach. If you happen to receive a hostile or harsh response from those working there, it is already a red flag that says a lot about the dentist.


  • Hygiene. It is also helpful to assess the dental office on how it presents itself. You can immediately feel the vibes of the clinic from the moment you take your step inside the facility. Besides, the dental clinic’s maintenance already reflects how the staff and professionals work in their environment. You wouldn’t want to be in an unsterile and unclean dental clinic, would you?


  • Treatment. choosing a dentistYour initial consultation with the dentist is also essential. Besides assessing how knowledgeable your dentist is, it will also show how he or she finds the best for your treatment plan. A good dentist will talk you through the necessary procedures and creates ways to minimize pain. It is a part of their professional duty to listen to your concerns before the actual treatment. On the other hand, a poor dentist will disregard these factors and be much rougher in the treatment process.


  • Monetary Obsession. Lastly, your dental care provider should find ways to avoid unnecessary procedures. A careful treatment plan must focus on what you only need in your current dental health situation. A dentist who focuses on earning money will suggest multiple treatment options. They will also try to upsell products that are difficult to tell if helpful or not.


  • Payment. Most dental clinics will request you to settle your fees after the procedure. When the dental staff asks you to provide the total cost before you even begin with the treatment, consider it a major red flag.



Dental anxiety and phobia. (Better Health Channel. Retrieved and Accessed March 2021).

Best coping methods for anxiety. (Medical News Today. Retrieved and Accessed March 2021).

How to Sue a Dentist for Malpractice? (Legal Match. Retrieved and Accessed March 2021).

You’ll Love These Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene. (Perfect Teeth. Retrieved and Accessed March 2021).

Had A Bad Dentist Experience? Here's What You Can Do
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Had A Bad Dentist Experience? Here's What You Can Do

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