4 Strategies For Dealing With Dental Anxiety

Most American adults are aware of the importance of receiving regular dental care. But for a significant fraction of that group who suffer from dental anxiety or phobia, going to the dental office can be extremely challenging.

The staff at Dr. Carol Ford’s office offers several options for those who have dental anxiety, so that all of our patients may receive dental care in a relaxed, comfortable setting.

4 Strategies to Help Overcome Dental Anxiety

  1. All treatment will be clearly described to you. Ford and her staff will establish a comfortable rapport with you before your examination begins. When it comes time to discuss the current state of your oral health and what dental care is recommended, we will partner with you in your care. That way, you will be working with us to improve your oral health, rather than our dental care team doing things to you.
  2. Ford can prescribe medications that can ease anxiety. If it is determined your anxiety level could be lowered by using a medication, Dr. Ford can write a prescription for it as part of your dental care.
  3. Dental_AnxietyNitrous oxide is available if necessary. After discussing your dental care goals and your level of anxiety, Dr. Ford may suggest the use of nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”), which will provide enough sedation for you to feel comfortable while allowing you to remain conscious throughout the procedure.
  4. Vito is our secret weapon! One anxiety-reducing option available exclusively at Dr. Ford’s office is Vito, Dr. Ford’s 5-year-old Golden Retriever. Vito has been trained as a Power Paws Assistance Dog, and is happy to be petted or played with whenever a patient requests him. Many patients find that interacting with Vito calms them to the point where dental care procedures can be done smoothly and comfortably. And Vito makes his “rounds” by request only, so there is never any pressure to interact with him.

“Regular dental care is important to the health of your teeth and gums, so if you have issues with dental anxiety, please discuss them with us,” says Dr. Ford, who practices in central Phoenix. “It’s very likely one of our options for dealing with the problem will work for you.”


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