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Dental Anxiety

Do you start to sweat when you realize your dental appointment is coming up? Does your heart start racing when you hear the sound of the dental drill? Are you apprehensive about needles? You’re not alone.

Dental fear or anxiety can be a minor sense of uneasiness during an appointment or an overwhelming feeling of nervousness, fear and sometimes even panic at even the thought of going to an appointment. Unfortunately, for some, that means avoiding the dental office all together until mild problems become severe. Leaving dental problems untreated can result in severe gum disease, extractions, and root canal procedures. It can also lead to poor self-esteem if you’re concerned about your appearance due to a bad tooth or a smile you’re embarrassed about.

At Plains Road Dental Office, we are committed to making a positive experience for our patients, and encourage discussions about such fears and concerns at the beginning of the appointment. Here are some tips for coping with dental anxiety as well as some services we offer to help minimize your fear.

  • Talk to your dental professional. Please advise us at the beginning of your appointment if you experience dental anxiety so we can modify our treatment where possible and be mindful of your feelings. Sometimes fears can stem from a previous unsettling experience, so discussing this can be helpful for both parties.

  • Oral sedation:
    A medication is prescribed by your dentist to take 1 hour prior to your appointment so you are relaxed and drowsy but still awake during the procedure.

  • Nitrous Oxide or “Laughing Gas”:
    Nitrous oxide and oxygen are inhaled by a mask that is placed over your nose during the dental procedure to help you feel relaxed.

  • Noise cancelling headphones or listening to relaxing music:
    For some people, the sounds in the dental office can be the cause of apprehension so blocking those sounds may help.

  • Meditation and mindfulness:
    Practicing relaxation and deep breathing can help you relax. Try counting your breaths and scanning your body for any muscle tension. Focus on releasing tension from head to toe starting with your head and neck working down your body to your toes.

Talk to Us

Let us know if you feel anxious at the dentist and let us help you keep your healthy smile.