Carmel grad’s book drills down on fear of dentists


Growing up, Hannah Pedersen said she was petrified of the dentist. But, over time, the Carmel High School grad began to trust her dentist and look forward to visits.

Fast forward and Pederson is a pre-dental student at Indiana University. She has written a book about her experiences: “Will I Survive the Dentist?”

“Growing up in Kentucky, I had many dental issues leading to several unhappy visits to the dentist and high dental anxiety. Moving to Carmel at the age of five, I met my dentist, Dr. Chad Hazelrigg, at Pediatric Dentistry of Noblesville, which is where I began to love coming for visits,” Pedersen said. “The welcoming environment and full transparency of dental visits made all the difference. Through high school, I became intrigued about dental anatomy and morphology, started shadowing (the dentist), then eventually became an intern at the Pediatric Dentistry of Noblesville.”

Pedersen began writing the book in the fall of 2022 and finished it in June 2023. The book was released Sept. 6 by self-publisher BookBaby.

“I started writing ‘Will I Survive the Dentist?’ on the Notes app of my iPhone,” she said. “Whether I was on the Bloomington bus, waiting for class to begin, in the car, etc., I was so inspired by this idea, I couldn’t stop pursuing this project until it was complete.”

The 21-year-old has interned each summer at Hazelrigg’s dental practice, which includes Drs. Charles Fuhrer and Liz Trillet.

“These doctors inspire me to pursue dentistry because of their evident passion for what they do,” Pedersen said. “Seeing the incredible impact they have on patients has shown me the value of this profession.”

Pedersen is determined to ensure “Will I Survive the Dentist?” will be available in pediatric dentistry and medical practices. And she plans to contact elementary schools in the Carmel area to read the book to students and have book signings.

“My hope is for this book to relieve any dental anxiety patients may have, educate individuals on proper oral hygiene, and serve as an introductory book to the dentist that families enjoy reading,” she said.

Pedersen credits her family and friends for supporting her through the project.

“My family and friends have seen this project from the beginning and know the journey that I’ve been on to get to this point. When the book was completed, they fell in love with the final product,” she said. “I have an incredible support system who have shown me tremendous support by encouraging me every step of the way, as well as pre-ordering my book on Amazon.”

“Will I Survive the Dentist?” is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


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