Image courtesy of artur84 /

Image courtesy of artur84 / 

If you are looking for a new dentist, ask friends and family members for a referral to a dentist they can highly recommend. It helps to have a positive feeling before you even walk in the dental office door.


Take heart that modern dentistry has experienced many advances that have made many dental treatments pain-free.


Find a dentist that puts you at ease. Dentists, dental assistants and dental hygienists are well aware of how many patients struggle with dental phobia. Find a dental office that takes great measures to relax patients and treat them with care and compassion.


Ask the dentist about any details you are confused about before the procedure begins. It may help you to know exactly what is happening. I do not recommend researching online before a procedure because the Internet is full of horror stories that may increase your anxiety.


If you think music will serve as a soothing distraction, bring your headphones and play your favorite relaxing tunes during treatment.


During the procedure, practice breathing and relaxation techniques that you may have learned elsewhere. For instance, if you have been through a Bradley or Lamaze childbirth class, some of the techniques you learned there may help calm you during a procedure. My mom taught Lamaze classes for years. She recollects that a big burly truck driver shared with her that he used the Lamaze techniques he learned in his wife’s class to help him deal with an extreme toothache until he could get to the dentist. In particular, deep breathing and progressive relaxation of each muscle might help. While in the dental chair, make every effort to release tension throughout your body. Your shoulders and arms are common places for tension if you are stressed during a dental procedure.


Share with your dentist if you are feeling nervous before the procedure and let the dentist and dental assistant know of anything that might make you more relaxed. Do not be ashamed to mention you are nervous. You are not alone, we often hear from new patients that they are nervous. Our goal is to help you relax and have a successful dental treatment.


If you think you will need a little something extra to help relax you during a dental procedure, ask about nitrous oxide or other options your dentist may have to offer to decrease anxiety.


Stay on top of routine cleaning appointments, practice good oral hygiene and make sure to get dental decay treated quickly in order to avoid the need for more extensive dental work.


Consider a good time for scheduling your dental appointment. Many patients who face anxiety over dental procedures find that it is best to schedule morning appointments so that they do not spend their day worrying about the dental appointment.


If you are looking for a new dentist in the O’Fallon, MO or greater St. Charles County area, please call our office at 636-561-5445. We would be happy to have you as part of our dental family.