Dental Anxiety

Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Many people have anxiety related to dental procedures, especially oral surgery. We encourage our patients who struggle with dental anxiety to be open about their feelings before the day of surgery and help our patients take steps to help ease their feelings. 

Before Your Oral Surgery

There are steps you can take before your surgery to help give yourself the best chance of keeping anxiety under control.

  • Be completely honest! Share your fears as soon as you schedule your appointment. The sooner we understand your anxiety, the more we can help mitigate it.
  • Remind us when you meet with us about the extent of your anxiety. In some cases, the surgeon might prescribe anxiety medication to take right before you come in.
  • Read about the procedure you're having on our website. Knowledge is power. In addition, knowing what to expect during and after the procedure can help ease your anxiety.
  • Read your doctor’s bio on our site. Learning more about the person helping you and their credentials can relieve some of the stress. Remember, our staff shares many of the same life experiences and even the fears you have.
  • Choose a low-stress appointment time.
  • Anxiety is a common emotion and there are many resources dedicated to helping you deal with it. Check out some of these resources before your appointment.
  • Think of a “happy place” where you feel safe, secure, and calm. Practice visualizing this place before the appointment to help you stay calm during the procedure. Focus on the end result (an improved smile; pain-free mouth; better sleep, etc.).
  • Bring a stress ball to squeeze if you need a way to fidget.
  • Search through the Apple App Store or Google Play to find a relaxation or meditation app that you might enjoy.
  • Read information on relaxation and anxiety on the internet.
During Your Oral Surgery

Whether it’s during a procedure or while anesthesia is being administered, anxiety can start to creep up on you. Here are some tips for helping keep the stress away.

  • Watch what you eat and drink (nothing with too much caffeine) the day before and the day of.
  • Remind us about your anxiety so we know best how to help make you comfortable.
  • Focus on deep breathing regularly, and slowly. Remind yourself everything is okay. 
  • Visualize your “happy place” Use calm hand signals to let us know when you need a moment.

Some patients get to the appointment and are simply too anxious and stressed to go through the procedure safely. If you feel you are unable to proceed, please let us know right away. We can reschedule you for another day.

It is safer for you, and for our staff, to reschedule your appointment if your anxiety is too high. In some cases, we have had to reschedule or cancel surgery because a patient’s reaction to the anxiety created an unsafe environment for them or our staff.

Whether you are anxious about undergoing anesthesia, or have a phobia of needles, or have other anxiety issues—remember that’s perfectly normal. Open, honest communication between patients and our offices will help you have an anxiety-free (or limited) oral surgery.

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