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  • Writer's pictureDr. Loreen Wong

Techniques for Reducing Anxiety at the Dentist

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Are you feeling anxious about your next dental visit? You’re not alone. Dental anxiety is actually very common. One recent government study of Dutch adults revealed a 24 percent rate of dental anxiety – ranking just behind fear of snakes. While worldwide statistics are lacking, most small-scale studies indicate a similarly high rate of dental anxiety.

In other words, it’s a common, medically recognized challenge, and there’s no need to be embarrassed. The high frequency of dental anxiety also means that there are plenty of people working on solutions, and they’ve already come up with some creative ways to address anxiety. Ahead, we’ll share some of the best ways to diminish dental anxiety, and get the care you need with peace of mind from your dentist in Calgary.

Diminish Dental Anxiety with These Simple Tips

One of the frustrating things about dental anxiety is that you may not be able to pinpoint its cause. You might feel perfectly fine sitting in the dentist’s chair, only to have anxious feelings come on strong due to a certain tool or procedure. This is common, too. No matter where your anxiety comes from, your dentist will be an important resource for helping you overcome.

Getting Familiar – Children are often anxious about going to the dentist because they don’t really understand what goes on there. The chair, dental tools, and even just the people milling around can be intimidating. Loreen Wong Dentistry offers complimentary Happy Visits for children, where we familiarize them with dentistry and the dentist’s office in a fun, stress-free setting.

Dental Discussions – Adults, too, can often benefit by learning more about what to expect from a procedure. This is one area where online research can actually compound your anxiety. Instead, let your dentist know that you’re feeling anxiety, and have a conversation about why. While it won’t wipe away your anxiety completely, talking about it really does help.

Set a Sign – Many people are made anxious by the lack of control during a dental visit, especially during lengthy procedures where you’re unable to talk. Creating a sign to let your dentist know you’re uncomfortable, such as raising your hand, will give you some peace of mind.

Sedation Dentistry – If you need evidence that dental anxiety is common, just look at the rising popularity of sedation dentistry. With sedation dentistry, you’re given medication before or during your visit to diminish anxiety. There are mild, moderate, and deep sedation options, depending on your needs.

A Dietary Difference – While what you eat doesn’t cause your anxiety, it can certainly make it more intense. Caffeine and sugary foods will both make you more anxious than you would be otherwise, so try to avoid those items on days when you’re visiting your dentist.

Financial Matters – We understand that sometimes anxiety has little to do with what happens in your dentist’s office. If you’re worried about insurance or the cost of care, the team at Loreen Wong Dentistry is always ready to help. We’ll work with you, and your insurance company, to get you the care that you need.

For most people, managing dental anxiety is best accomplished by a series of small changes in routine. It’s always best to talk to your dentist about your anxiety. Your dentist has many tools to help make your visits more comfortable, and an honest conversation is the best way to figure out which tools might work for you. Peace of mind starts with a plan.

Looking for a dentist in Calgary who understands dental anxiety? Loreen Wong Dentistry offers a full range of dental services including sedation dentistry, and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere to help you manage anxiety.


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