Girl covering mouth over teeth with dental anxiety

Anxiety is a Common Concern for Dental Patients

At Lighthouse Dental Centre, we aim to calm the nerves of all of our patients. However, there are patients that we see who have severe dental anxiety. Fear of going to the dentist can have severe consequences for your dental health.

High levels of dental anxiety are experienced in 20% of the population, but this figure is likely much higher when accounting for all stress levels.

We know that certain procedures are scary and our patients avoid them, but we're here to help. When you step into our office in Langley, we'll take precautions to ensure that you're comfortable and relaxed during your exam and procedure or any emergency treatment.

During your visit, Dr. Gurpreet Sidhu will discuss your dental needs and formulate a plan together that will help ease your fears while ensuring that you're receiving the dental care that you need the most. If you find yourself becoming anxious, we'll address this immediately so that you can feel comfortable sitting in our dental chair.

Give us a call today to discuss your dental needs and learn how we can help you overcome dental anxiety.

Teen with mom showing anxiety at a dental appointment

Easing Anxiety Without Medication During Your Next Dental Appointment

Anxiety is a growing problem in the dental industry. Patients are told by their friends or family members that a particular procedure hurts – even a routine cleaning –and a small seed of fear begins to grow.

As you come closer to your appointment, your heart begins to race, and you're struck with a bout of severe anxiety.

Medication can help, but there are non-medication options available that can also assisti n helping you through anxiety. We can employ a lot of great anxiety-reducing methods to help, including:

  • Headphones
  • Music
  • Discussing procedures

When you schedule an appointment, besure to ask how we can help with anxiety. We'll be more than happy to discuss your concerns and help ease your mind as best as possible. In the worst-case scenario, medication may be necessary.

But for most of our patients, anxiety medication is unnecessary.

How Can I Prepare for My Dentist Appointment

Anxiety is often due to a bad past experience at the dentist or because of misunderstandings. The good news is that our team has found that if you properly prepare for your visit, you'll have a much better experience.

We allow our patients to:

  • Meet with staff members before their appointment to get to know the team.
  • Tour the office and even sit in the dental chair to ease your anxiety.

We've found that when our anxious patients catch a glimpse of our office and where they'll have their teeth cleaned or worked on, they're far less worried. So we're confident that if you visit our office, we'll be able to ease your mind.

Infact, we recommend a consultation that allows us to explain what the procedures entail and help you mentally prepare for the procedure—especially more complicated treatments like root canals and implants or any treatment for cosmetic dentistry.

Informed patients are relaxed patients, and after your first visit, we're confident that we'll be able to ease your mind and show you that there's nothing to fear atour office. We also have other options that can help you reduce your anxiety when it's very extreme.

Reducing Your Dental Anxiety with Sedation Dentistry

Sedation is offered in our office, too. Of course, we always try to ease your mind naturally and use other methods before sedation, but our team can provide you with sedation dentistry when all else fails.

If you've never had sedation dentistry before, you likely have a lot of questions to ask.

We're going to walk you through the most common questions and answers about sedation dentistry so that you're 100% comfortable with your procedure:

  • Can I be asleep during the treatment? No,but it depends on the procedures that you need. If you need a very long procedure or some form of oral surgery, veneers, bridges, crowns, we may recommend sleep dentistry, as it provides the best anxiety relief possible.However, we'll often be able to perform non-sleep dentistry. We'll discuss your options when you come into our office to have a clear picture of the procedures you need and the level of sedation required.
  • How is sedation administered? Often, we'll provide you with a sedation pill about an hour before your procedure and possibly a tablet to take the night before you're scheduled to come into our office. One pill will help you relax and feel confident receiving your dental procedure. The majority of our patients only need one pill, and it will be more than enough to get through the appointment without incident.
  • Are you sure I'm a candidate for sedation? Unfortunately,no, but that's why we request that you come into our office for a consultation so that we can assess your health as best as possible. Most patients are healthy enough where sedation is the right choice for them. However, in rare cases, a person's health may not allow them to be sedated safely. If you're one of the few patients that fall into this category, we can discuss alternative options to sedation that may work well.
  • Are there any side effects of sedation dentistry? We aim to lower your risk of side effects by administering just the right amount of sedation so that you feel great in just a few hours after your procedure. When heavy sedation is required, it's not uncommon to feel tired and weak for the first few hours after the procedure. However, the sedation that we use isn't designed to remain in your body for long, so we're able to keep your risk of side effects to a minimum.
  • Will I be able to drive? No. You'll still be able to move around, but your reactions will often be delayed. You can even have a conversation with our team, but it's normal for patients to feel like they're a step behind their normal self and a little slow. Mind clarity tends to be a problem, and for this reason, we recommend that you have someone drive you home. Once the sedation wears off, you can go back to your regular routine.
  • Can children benefit from sedation? Yes. Children that require a lot of dental work may need sedation, but it's on a case-by-case basis. If a child is well-behaved, they can usually skip sedation. A child that fidgets often and can't sit still may do best with sedation if they need lengthy procedures performed.

Dental anxiety never has to stop you from going to the dentist and taking care of your teeth.  We aim to make every dental procedure as pain-free and anxiety-free as possible when you come into our office.Generally, we can perform treatments involving X-ray or Invisalign trays without the need for sedation as they are very non-invasive procedures

If you suffer from known anxiety issues or want to see how you'll react in the dental chair, you can schedule a consultation with us. We'll be more than happy to give you a tour of our office and spend time getting to know you so that you feel as comfortable as possible when you get dental work done.

We're here to answer any questions or concerns that you may have about your dental needs or anxiety.

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Dr. Gurpreet Sidhu - Dentist at Lighthouse Dental Centre and Blue Water Dental
Dr. Gurpreet Sidhu

With nearly two decades of experience, Dr. Sidhu enjoys helping his patients learn about dentistry. Knowledge is meant to be improved, challenged and shared.

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