Anxiety in the Dental Office

Anxiety in the Dental Office

We know how important it is to take care of our teeth and that regular dental appointments are an integral part of that care. Did you know that it is estimated that 75% of adults have some degree of fear of the dentist? For some, the fear is so great that they are actually unable to have dental treatments. This avoidance can result in further dental issues such as dental pain and eventual loss of teeth. What can you do about dental anxiety? The good news is that it IS manageable, and we are here to help you manage your fears.

Talk to Your Dentist

The first step in managing dental anxiety is discussing it with your dentist and your dental team members. We understand that dental fear can prevent you from getting treatment and we are here to help. We will get to know what caused your anxiety in the first place and work with you to come up with a treatment plan that will include management of your anxiety. Further, when you get to know your dentist, you will find that he or she is a person just like you! Sometimes this is enough to help you get over your fear.

Review Your Pending Procedures and Ask Questions

Sometimes anxiety is more a fear of the unknown. Maybe you have no idea what to expect for a cleaning or even a filling or root canal. Asking questions is strongly encouraged. We are here to help you understand the particulars – the what, why, when and how of your dental treatment. Often learning what to expect at your next appointment will make it a more comfortable experience for you.

Coping Mechanisms

There are many ways to manage dental anxiety such as using a stress ball to take your mind off the appointment, meditation, or even bringing your emotional support system to your dental appointment. In addition to these, please discuss with your dental provider options such as nitrous oxide, oral sedation or a combination of both. Your dentist may even be able to prescribe a mild anti-anxiety medication for the night before your dental procedure if you feel your sleep may be affected.

Office Environment

We strive to treat our patients the way we would treat our family. Our reception area is set up like a living room complete with fireplace and television. You are welcome to enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or a bottle of water prior to your appointment. Our Patient Coordinator Sarah always greets our patients with a warm smile and some friendly conversation! Our assistant Bonnie is an expert in making our patients feel warm and welcome and can thoroughly explain all procedures dental related. Our hygienists Jessica and Janet will help you keep your gums healthy and will give you tips for homecare tailored to you and your needs. Finally, Dr Mikhail will discuss with you any and all options for treatment available to you including ways to manage your anxiety. Please reach out to any member of our team if you think discussing your dental related anxiety would benefit you and make you more comfortable!