How to overcome your fear of going to the dentist

January 12, 2021

It’s no secret - many patients experience fear of going to the dentist. A few reasons for dental anxiety are the anticipation of pain, negative memories of past experiences, and the lack of control when sitting in the dentist’s chair. 

All of the above creates an unsettling experience for some people. The good news is, Calgary dentists are trained to treat patients who have anxiety about going to the dentist. A great dentist will take extra steps to create a more pleasant and comfortable environment for their patients.

If you fear going to the dentist, here are some steps to take to manage your stress for your next visit. 

Overcoming fear of dentist

Overcoming fear of the dentist

Communicate with your dentist

Trust and communication are key to building a good relationship with your dentist. If you’re anxious, share your fears with the dental staff. They can apply techniques that are proven to lower stress in patients.

Professional dentists in NW Calgary use the following methods to create a more comfortable experience: 

    • Explain what they will do next
    • Explain what sensation you can expect to feel
    • Ask for permission to continue 
    • Make time for breaks when requested
    • Suggest cues like raising a hand to give the patient an opportunity to pause the procedure

Again, the lack of control is often what causes fear and anxiety. By walking patients through the procedure, dentists enhance the feeling of control, which reduces patients’ uncertainty. 

Focus on your breathing

Maintaining steady breathing during the dental procedure helps ease feelings of stress. When we’re nervous, we tend to hold our breath, which increases anxiety. Focusing on slow, regular breathing is a meditation technique proven to decrease fear and anxiety. 

Schedule a low-stress appointment time

Our stress increases when we feel rushed, which is why it’s important to book an appointment with your Calgary dentist during a time when your schedule is free. When scheduling an appointment, voice your concerns and any fears with the dental staff. A welcoming dental clinic will work with you to find a stress-free time that suits you best. 

Don’t be afraid to try out a different dentist

If you’re finding that each visit to your dentist does not improve in terms of your fears and anxiety, it could be that your dentist is not a good fit for you. Ask friends and family for referrals or read reviews online for a reputable dental clinic in Calgary. 

When looking for a new dentist, don’t be afraid to interview your dentist and book an initial consultation. The right dentist will hear your concerns and adjust to accommodate your comfort level.

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