Tips to deal with dental anxiety

Going to the dentist is an important part of maintaining optimal overall health, but it’s not unusual to feel some fear, anxiety or uneasiness before or during your dental appointments. We understand, and that’s why we’ve put together some tips to help you overcome your dental fear:

  • Talk with your dentist and/or dental hygienist about your dental anxiety so they can fully explain what to expect during your procedure. They’re there to make your experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
  • Patients often say that their fears were worse than the actual procedure, and if they’d only known what to expect, they would have been less anxious.
  • Wear headphones during your appointment to help block out sounds. Be sure to discuss this with your dentist or dental hygienist prior to your appointment.
  • Request a numbing agent. Your dental hygienist and dentist can often apply a numbing gel or use a local anesthesia to minimize pain.
  • Everyone’s pain threshold is different. Don’t be afraid to ask for a numbing agent if you weren’t offered one or if you’re in pain—your dentist won’t want to go ahead unless you’re comfortable.
  • Ask about anti-anxiety medication. Some practices offer patients anti-anxiety medication to help reduce dental anxiety during the appointment. Please ask your dentist before the day of your visit about anti-anxiety medications.
  • Use the chair-side TVs to watch a favorite show during your procedure. Your dentist can also use the monitor to show you your x-rays and to help you to better understand your procedure. TVs are also available in most exam rooms.
  • Bring someone you trust to your appointment to help provide comfort and help reduce your dental anxiety.
  • Arrive early for your appointment. Your stress management can start just by taking some time to read a magazine in the waiting room.