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McCall Family Dentistry
A Great Dentist

10 Tips for Managing Dental Anxiety

March 7, 2017
Posted By: Lindsey McCall
Dental Anxiety

Over the past 40 years, we have welcomed thousands of patients into our dental family. Some people enjoy coming to the dentist and look forward to it. Others, however, have dental anxiety ranging from mild to extreme. People are not born with a fear of dentists, but rather something has happened over time to create the phobia. Some patients have had a bad experience with previous doctor, while others simply don’t like the sound of a drill, the sight of a needle, or the feeling of a doctor’s hands in their mouth.  


Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life, but if you feel an overwhelming sense of fear and panic when you step into our office, we want to help to put you at ease. Avoiding the dentist altogether can only lead to much larger problems, so here are 10 tips for dealing with dental anxiety at our office.


  1. Let Us Get To Know You

    When scheduling your first visit, let us know about your fears and concerns. Our staff will walk you through the what to expect on your first visit, so that you won’t have a fear of the “unknown” upon your arrival. Let us know if you want to speak to the doctor before your appointment, as this can sometimes help put you at ease.
  2. Rest Up

    Get a good night’s sleep before your appointment and avoid caffeine before your visit. These beverages are likely to make you more jittery during your visit. If possible, schedule your appointment in the morning, so that you don’t start questioning the procedure and worrying about your visit later in the day.
  3. Bring a Family Member With You

    Having someone you trust by your side can help you to make decisions and calm you during your visit. If you need reassurance, they will be there for you!
  4. Talk To Us

    During your appointment, inform the dentist that you have a phobia. Dr. McCall will walk you through the steps of the procedure as he is about to perform them. Knowing what will happen next can help put you at ease, and if you need a break, don’t hesitate to ask!
  5. DentalVibe

    Set Expectations With Us

    The goal for your visit is to ensure you have a good experience. If you feel you are not ready for a procedure, let us know. We want to ensure you come back, rather than push you to do something you are not yet ready for.
  6. Ask For The DentalVibe

    If you have a fear of needles, we will offer you the DentalVibe. The DentalVibe provides gentle vibration to the site of the dental injection so that you don’t register the pain or discomfort from the injection. The sound of the vibration creates an added distraction, and the vibration also helps disperse the anesthesia once it’s injected so that it can work even faster. Read testimonials about this revolutionary tool here.
  7. Seek Distraction                                                                                        At McCall Family Dentistry, each room is equipped with a flat-screen television above your head. Let us know what you’d like to watch! From HGTV to Netflix movies, we have something for everyone. If the sound of a drill isn’t pleasing to you, be sure to request a pair of BlueTooth headphones to drown out the noises in the background.
  8. Try Relaxation Techniques

    Practice controlled breathing by taking a big breath, holding it, and letting it out slowly. This can help you to relax your muscles and slow your heartbeat.
  9. Schedule Regular Dental Check-Ups

    Frequent visits will help you to get to know and trust our staff. Staying on top of your oral hygiene will also enable Dr. McCall to catch problems early, avoiding more extensive procedures at a later date.
  10. Discuss Other Options

    If you feel that you still can’t bring yourself to visiting a dentist, talk to Dr. McCall about available sedatives, numbing agents, or prescriptions that may or may not be appropriate for you.
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The team at McCall Family Dentistry is pleased to announce that our office is re-opening on June 1st. If you had an appointment scheduled March 13th – May 31st, we will call you shortly to reschedule your appointment. We have modified our office hours, so please be patient as we try to accommodate all appointment requests. Stay well and we look forward to seeing you soon!  

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issues. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.