Teeth Whitening

How to Overcome Dental Anxiety and Get the Care You Need

Do dental drills give you the chills? Perhaps you had a bad
experience at a previous dental office, are embarrassed
about your oral health or just tend to get anxious.

Regular visits to the dentist’s office are necessary to keep your gums and teeth in good shape. It is a way to help improve your overall health and give you a reason to smile. You can calm your nerves and realize the dentist is not a scary place. How exactly can you overcome dental anxiety?

Ways to Get the Care You Need and Lose the Anxiousness

Did you know that approximately 45% of adults have dental anxiety? You are not alone in your fear but over time and with a few easy-to-follow tips, you can get through your anxiety.

Prepare Yourself

Dental anxiousness often stems from uncertainty of what is about to happen at the dentist. This can be solved by informing yourself of the treatment method. It is helpful to research the treatment you are getting done ahead of time. Ask your dentist for a detailed description of what to expect. This will help calm your nerves by removing the imaginary blindfold and having a clear vision of the procedure.

Calming Techniques

Try listening to music that calms your mind during your dental treatment. It can distract you from the procedure itself, making you feel happy and at ease. You might even try to meditate or do yoga before your dental appointment. This can calm your mind and body. Another great option is to bring a stress ball with you to squeeze while in the dentist’s chair. This will allow you to release those pent-up emotions.

Bring Someone with You

Do you have a close friend or family member that will come to the dentist with you? Having a loved one by your side may relieve you of your anxiety entirely. You can chat with them (when nothing is in your mouth, that is ;)), look to them for support and just feel comforted knowing they are there. A gentle hand squeeze can do wonders for quieting your thoughts.

Have A Signal

Speak with your dentist ahead of time to agree on a signal to pause the treatment. A simple raise of your hand lets them know you need a breather. Sometimes all you need is a little time to relax in between dental steps to feel calm. Just knowing you are in control can even be all you need to feel at ease in the dentist’s chair. Preventing dental anxiety is all about mind over matter.


If you want an extra bit of calm, speak with your dentist about sedation dentistry to see if it can work for you. With the use of trusted professional medication, you can get into a relaxed state. It is easier for the dentist to work on your teeth when you are wiggle free.

There are three types of sedation. Your dentist will select an option depending on the treatment being performed and your level of dental anxiety.

  • Laughing Gas – This is a minimal type of sedation that allows you to stay conscious during treatment. Laughing gas is given to you through a mask placed over your nose. Nitrous oxide then enters your system as you breathe. The effects are quick and it wears off in a short time. This type of sedation might be used for common treatments like dental cleanings.
  • Oral Sedation – If you need extensive dental work like getting a crown or wisdom tooth extraction, oral sedation is an option. You are given medication in pill form before your dental treatment which allows you to be in a sleep-like state. You may or may not remember the procedure.
  • Deep Sedation – You are administered medication through an IV which allows you to fall asleep. You will not remember the treatment.

Before deciding on the type of sedation, your dentist in Calgary will speak with you about your medical and dental history. It is important for your dentist to have complete knowledge of any medications or supplements you are taking to avoid any possible negative side effects or interactions.


It is important to let your dentist know if you have dental anxiety so they can personalize treatments for you. Communicating your fears and following one or some of the tips above will help give you the courage you need to overcome dental anxiety. Glenbrook Dental is a safe space for you to feel comfortable while getting the treatment you need. Ask us if you have any questions about treatment options to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. We are here to help.