Dental Anxiety

How do dental appointments make you feel?

If you easily feel anxious thinking about a dental visit, know that there’s nothing wrong with it, and it’s very common. Here in our dental office at Lethbridge, we have several patients who have fear of dentistry.

If you also have dental fears or anxieties, still see your dentist. Missing or delaying routine dental checkups and hygiene cleanings may only increase your risk of developing dental issues.

How Your Dental Team Can Help

Here’s Dr. Lachman talking about some of the steps that we do to help patients feel comfortable during their visits.

It’s important to speak up and let your dentist know about your anxiety. Your dental team can help you better if they understand your needs and concerns. It’s okay to tell the receptionist right away as soon as you call that you're very nervous about dental visits.

At Cool Dental, we’re always ready to listen and help. We encourage you to share with us if you have had negative experiences in the past or need coping tips before your visit.

We’re happy to answer your questions to help you understand your appointment better. It may help you feel more at ease to know what to expect.

During your appointment, we can use hand signals if you need a break or are feeling uncomfortable. We can stop at any time until you’re ready.

You don’t need to worry about interrupting the procedure. If you need frequent breaks, that’s okay. We want to ensure you’re comfortable before we proceed again.

What You Can Do to Overcome Dental Anxiety

It’s crucial to understand where the fear or anxiety is coming from so you and your dental team can work together on a solution. Here are common patient concerns and some ways on how you and your dentist can work together to address them:

●  Fear of pain or needles. If you're afraid that the procedure might hurt or you’re not comfortable with needles, your dentist may recommend using sedation techniques. Sedation techniques are available for various levels or types of anxiety. If you need assistance to feel more relaxed, laughing gas may be ideal. If you feel that you need stronger sedation, you and your dentist may look into oral or IV sedation.

●  Fear of losing control. If you worry about being in the chair and feeling hopeless, it helps to communicate with your dental team before your procedure. Here in our office, we listen to patient’s signals during procedures. Don’t be ashamed if you’re claustrophobic or haven’t seen a dentist for a long period. We won’t judge and it’s okay if the appointment takes longer than expected.

●  Poor experiences. You may have bad experiences in the past. It could be that the dental team had not been gentle or attentive, you felt you were overcharged, or you were unhappy with their service or how they made you feel in general. These incidents can happen, but don’t let them keep you from making future dental visits. Not all dental teams and practices are the same. Find a team that you feel comfortable with.

There are several other potential reasons why patients feel anxious about dental visits. And for every reason, there are always options that we can consider.

The only wrong solution is to stop seeing the dentist. It’ll only be more difficult not only for your oral health but also for your pocket.