It’s no secret that the pandemic has had mental health consequences for many. While we saw tons of patients with dental anxiety before the pandemic at our dentist office in Clayton, we’re seeing more than ever now that the pandemic’s effects have taken hold of many.

The good news about dental anxiety is it can be overcome. As a gentle dentistry practice, we’re uniquely equipped to help individuals through this difficult mental health struggle and we have helped patients with even the most severe dental anxiety recover from their fears, so they can sit comfortably in the dentist’s chair again.

How You Can Overcome Dental Anxiety

Now, you’re probably asking how? Here are the top three tips we like to share:

Use Relaxation Techniques Before & During Your Appointment
Relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, restorative yoga, and essential oils are all ways to get in a zen mindset before your appointment. Coming in with a sense of calm, rather than tension, is key. Some of these techniques can even be applied during the treatment if you begin to feel on edge—especially breathing. Simply ask the team to take a pause, inhale slowly for four counts, hold your breath for seven counts, and exhale for eight counts. Or you can search YouTube for breathing and meditation techniques for anxiety, try them out before your appointment to see which calms you the most to be prepared!

Ask All the Questions
By definition, anxiety is our body’s natural reaction to fear or sense of danger. It’s a protective mechanism. Sometimes, fear of the unknown, not understanding a procedure or having questions you’re too embarrassed to ask, can trigger this. It could be something as simple as what a specific tool is used for during your cleaning, or asking for an in-depth play-by-play of what to anticipate during a dental surgery. Our team will always answer all your questions and explain in simple terms to make you feel safe, heard, and understood.

When All Else Fails, Ask About Sedation Options
When all else doesn’t seem to ease your worries, know that sedation dentistry is an option. Through using light sedatives, our skilled and certified dental team can help you get through your cleanings and dental procedures.

Dr. Winsome Henry-Ward’s Team Can Help You With Your Dental Anxiety

Part of overcoming dental anxiety is making sure you have the right dental team on your side. A team that will understand, judgement-free, what you’re going through and listen to what YOU need to feel comfortable. Dr. Winsome Henry-Ward’s team’s top priorities are your oral health and your comfort in the dentist’s chair. Call today to schedule a dental consultation in our St. Louis area dental office at 314-862-1118. We can’t wait to see you and help you overcome your fears!

What Our Patients Say

Beginning in 1995 Dr. Ward took over my dental care. She has proven to be as painless as I believe possible. My bridges have performed perfectly. My extractions have been very few, and my partial is working without incident. I recommend that anyone needing dental work consider using Dr. Ward.

Rudolph Hughes

One day during my morning prayer and meditation I had to look up the word honorable. The word is rich in meaning and implies the purest, highest, noblest kind of goodness. Honorable means “lovely”, “winsome”, “gracious”, “noble” and “excellent’. Your name, Winsome, definitely describes your character and your practice. God bless and keep you!!!

Jan Paul

Dr. Ward, I want you to know how much I appreciate the care I have received here. I am so happy with the improvement in my gums, and it is because of your emphasis on preventive oral care. It has made a huge difference, and I thank you.

Dave Diaz

Since having my first traumatic experience as a 9 year old with an army dentist I was always anxious about going to the dentist; my muscles would get tense, and I would grip the arms of the dentist chair, anticipating the worst.
But what a difference Dr. Ward has made in my previously harrowing experiences with dentists. With her calm caring manner and soothing touch, I actually became more relaxed in the dentist chair. What a relief!

Then as a bonus, there are times she would softly hum a tune which even makes me more calm, like a mother soothing an anxious baby – I guess I must have been a big baby when it came to dentists, but not anymore! Thank God for Dr. Ward! And her friendly staff aren’t too bad either.

Deanna Little

Very gentle, very competent. I am very appreciative of your skill and skill of your staff. Thanks.

Shawna Silva