How To Manage/Overcome Dental Anxiety

How To Manage/Overcome Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety is one of the most common issues we see at the dental clinic. There are so many
reasons that can cause people to have fear towards dental procedures, needles, and drills.
People with dental anxiety avoid to visit the dentist, sometimes even the thought of making an
appointment can make them anxious. But these anxieties can negatively impact the dental
health of the individual. By delaying the dental checkup and treatment due to anxiety can lead
to bigger problems.

Dental anxieties have a wide spectrum, of levels and types, yet there are many ways to manage
dental anxiety. At Clean Smiles Dental Hygiene Clinic, we offer many options to minimize the
fear. We want to make sure that our patients know that their level or type of anxiety is VALID!

Dental anxiety weather it is mild or extreme, can be handles by taking appropriate actions
steps. In order to find the solution, the very first step is to recognize that what is the kind and
level of anxiety you are experiencing. We recommend you to read our blog regarding types and
symptoms of dental anxiety, this will help you with process of evaluating the level and kind of
dental anxiety spectrum you are at. Her is the link for your easy access:

What is Dental Anxiety? What are the Symptoms and Types of Dental Anxiety? | Clean Smiles

Here are some of the types of dental anxiety that we observe:

  • Needle and drilling phobia
  • Fear of pain/discomfort
  • Uncertain anxiety
  • Fear of loss of control
  • Fear of anesthesia
  • Religious/cultural beliefs
  • Low self-esteem due to poor oral health
  • Financial anxiety around the cost of dental treatment
  • Fear of invasion of privacy
  • Fear of having treatment by a non-skilled practitioner
  • Fear of germs

Each one of these types of dental anxiety has a possible solution at Clean Smiles Dental Hygiene
Clinic. If we are unable to provide the dental solution; for example, a certain kind of sedation
that might be best suited for your needs, then we will certainly guide you in right direction. Our
main goal is for each patient to be able to get best dental care that they need and deserve.

Here are a few tips that can help in controlling the mild – moderate dental fear
or anxiety of the patients

  • Communicate the concerns with your Dental Hygienist or Dentist
    It is important to let your dental hygienist or dentist know if you experience any kind of
    dental anxiety. The key to find the possible way out to resolve the problem is to have
    open discussion and communication regarding your concern regarding your anxiety. By
    sharing the concerns, the dental practitioner would know how to deal with the patient
    and plan out how to manage or overcome the fear. Recognizing the reason of dental
    anxiety and sharing it does something magical. This is a powerful step that may give you
    the sense of control.
  • Breathing exercises
    Doing some breathing exercises before the dental procedure can help overcome dental
    anxiety. Usually, when a person is under any stress or fear, the breathing pattern is
    changed. The breath of an anxious person is small, shallow, and done by the shoulder
    rather than the diaphragm. This breathing style disturbs the balance of gases in the
    body that results in hyperventilation. Controlling the breathing can help in making the
    person relaxed.
  • Use signals to stop
    Discuss the problem with the dentist and agree on a signal to stop when you need a
    break, want to spit out, or feeling discomfort. It can be raising a hand or pointing a
  • General tips to encounter normal fear
    Following are some general tips to overcome normal dental anxiety.

    • Take baby steps, and book and appointment for consultation. In this visit, you can
      have a conversation and you can voice your concerns. This can be done over the
      phone, via zoom call or by simply book an appointment with one of our dental
    • It is a good idea to book an appointment for general dental check up and hygiene. On this appointment you can find out if your dental health is doing good or you need any further dental work that need to be done.
    • Don’t self-diagnose a dental problem by just looking at the tooth or doing a web search for the issue. This can cause you to get over whelmed even though in reality the problem might not be that big.
    • Always trust the professional advice of your dental hygienist or dentist. That means don’t follow advise of a friend/neighbor who might not have dental knowledge.
    • Start using sensitivity toothpaste two weeks prior to the dental appointment. It will help in reducing the tooth sensitivity if there is any.
    • Don’t book the appointment weeks or months prior. It will increase the anxiety as soon as the day is coming near. Just book the appointment for the same day, go there, and get over it.
    • Make yourself comfortable. If you are bothered with the noise at the clinic, bring headphones and listen to the music. Bring your favorite audio book, music and have a blanket to feel nice and cozy.
    • Come often! This will help you to get to know your dental hygienist and dentist. Also visiting every six months will help you have healthier and resilient gums and teeth. There would be less deposits on the gums and your procedures will be shorter hence more pleasant.
    • Ask as many questions as you can. Know about the procedure and its steps. Know what is coming next.

At Clean Smiles Dental Hygiene Clinic, our focus is to customized dental care for our amazing
patients. We have considered many steps in providing calming environment and make sure that
our patients have a relaxing and comfortable dental visit. We have private rooms to make sure
that patient privacy and comfort is maintained. Our dental care team is compassionate and is
here to provide optimal oral care.

Here are some options to consider for dental treatment for moderate- severe
dental anxiety

  • Happy Gas
    Happy gas or laughing gas is a nitrous oxide gas that helps in relaxing the patient with
    dental anxiety. It comes with a mask where the patient breathes a mixture of oxygen
    and nitrous oxide to make him relaxed. After inhaling the gases, the patient could talk to
    the doctor and follow the instruction but won’t remember much once the treatment is done. This method can elevate dental anxiety or phobia in some patients so they can obtain dental treatment; but if it does not help, other options can be considered.
  • Prescription Medications
    Some patients need medication to overcome dental anxiety or phobia. The medicine/pill is prescribed by the dentists or medical doctors to make the anxious patient relaxed. It is a short-acting single-dose pill that is taken one hour before the treatment. After consuming these pills, the patient needs someone to accompany them to and from their dental visit, since patient are not allowed to drive by themselves.
  • Conscious Sedation
    Conscious sedation is induced through a drip placed into the vein which makes the patient relaxed or dozed off into a light sleep but he can give a response to the dentist. This method is used when the patient is not agreeing for the treatment to be done when he is in full senses.
  • General Anesthesia
    General Anesthesia is given when there is a need of major dental work/or extreme dental anxiety. The treatment done under general anesthesia involves the patient being fully asleep.

Dental anxiety is real but it can be overcome/ managed if handled with the correct method and care. If you are experiencing any kind of anxiety which stops you from going to the dental clinic for treatment, visit the Clean Smiles Dental Hygiene clinic and discuss your concerns with our dental professionals.

We are here to help you, call us at (780) 800-6655 and book your appointment

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