I’m a dental coward and hoping to find the best dentist. This probably sounds silly… I’m a grown woman now, but ever since I was a little girl I’ve gotten anxious at the dentist. I never really have any problems. I’ve had a few cavities filled before, but I’ve never needed any serious work done. I used to have the best dentist in the whole world, but he retired and I didn’t much care for the doctor who took over the practice. I have tried a few since then, but they always seem to get short or impatient with me. Sometimes I’m a little slow to react, and when they put the pressure on, I just freeze. The worst part is, you can’t really tell what you’re getting into until you’re actually in an office. Are there any tips for finding the best dentist that I may be overlooking? Some secret dental code or keyword or something that I should be using when I’m looking these people up?
Finding the best dentist when you have anxiety is easy if you know what to look for, and yes, there are some “dental code words” that might help you find your target. You should know that dental anxiety is incredibly common and there’s nothing silly about it at all. In fact, it’s good that you recognize it, because that means you can start to work to control it, too.
For starters, you’ll want to look for some specific phrases when you’re selecting offices.
- Gentle Dentist
- Caters to Cowards Dentistry
- Sedation Dentistry
Generally, when you see these types of phrases, it means the doctor understands anxiety, and will work with you, rather than pressuring you to respond a certain way. You’ll find that the best dentist for you could be using any of the terms or even a mix of them.
Going forward, you may also want to consider sedation dentistry. Even if you just choose an office that specializes in it, you’ll know for sure that they understand the anxious patient. You don’t have to go for all-out sedation. However, you could also try nitrous during an appointment, just to take the edge off. It wears off quickly- as soon as it’s shut off, so you can drive home afterwards and it won’t affect the rest of your day. Anyone who uses one of those terms should be a good fit for you, though. Best of luck to you.
Also, some dentists go above and beyond to make sure patients have the best care pssible when under sedation. For instance, Dr. Arnold did a residency in anesthesia.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Fred Arnold.