How to Cope with Dental Anxiety

Visiting the Dentist is not always a fun experience for everyone. Many individuals experience dental anxiety from the moment they enter the office and take in the clinical atmosphere; the smell, the equipment, the sounds, etc.

When choosing a Dentist that’s right for you, whether you have a family or not, you want to ensure that you feel comfortable. Of course, choosing the right Dentist can be a long (and oftentimes expensive) task, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible task. At Port Dental Centre, we want to ensure our patients have the most comfortable experience given the circumstances – that’s why we’ve come up with a list of some common fears and concerns that can arise when visiting the dentist, and some strategies you can practice to ease your anxiety.

  1. The Pain

    Having anxiety build up before your visit with the Dentist is a completely rational fear. Most visits to the Dentist involve invasive procedures in the most sensitive areas of your mouth, and although there are ways to numb the pain, we recommend that you talk to your Dentist about your pain anxiety. For example, if you have sensitive gums and are worried about a cleaning irritating your gums, your Dentist can offer you a numbing gel that will make the cleaning a lot more bearable for those sensitive areas.

  2. Lack of Communication and Control

    Not being able to talk or communicate during dental procedures can be (understandably) frustrating for some individuals. If you’re someone who gets anxiety from not being able to speak during your visit to the Dentist, we suggest communicating this concern to your Dentist beforehand and establishing ways you could communicate with your hands (if you’re able to). For example, if you wished to pause the procedure by waving your left hand.

  3. Not Knowing what to Expect

    The “fear of the unknown” rings true in all aspects of life, especially when you visit a Dentist or a Doctor. Here at Port Dental Centre, we are more than happy to go over whatever details of the procedure you would like to know and what you can expect from them. There’s nothing wrong or embarrassing about asking your Dentist “will this hurt?” or “what can I expect from this?” before you undergo any procedure.

  4. Embarrassment

    A lot of people put off going to the Dentist, particularly if they experience severe dental anxiety, but this cycle of putting off the Dentist can lead to anxiety over embarrassment about your dental health. Just remember that in the practice of Dentistry, there isn’t a lot your Dentist hasn’t seen. It’s very unlikely that you will be the worst of the worst, and if you feel comfortable enough to ask, you may want to even inquire some worst-case-scenarios your Dentist has been through to feel better about your situation – you might even find your Dentist has some funny anecdotes that will help distract you and ease your stress!

Remember, the Dentist is the white coat is just as concerned with you feeling safe and comfortable as you are worried about the appointment itself. At Port Dental Centre, we always encourage communicating any fears or concerns with us prior to the procedure so we can find the best possible solution for your anxiety. Dental anxiety is an extremely common thing, and we want to help you combat your fears to the best of our ability!