Monthly Archives: May 2016

How Do I Find The Best Dentist For An Anxious Patient?

I’m hoping to find the best dentist for anxious patients. 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?


Stella – Ohio

Dear Stella,

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.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Potts.

Something’s Wrong With My Husband’s Gum

My husband has a sore on his gum that sometimes oozes. It’s really quite disgusting. He thinks it’s just a cut and will get better. I think it is something more serious. Which of us do you think is right?

Xandy L. – Oregon


A cut would look like a cut, not a sore that is oozing. Bear in mind that I haven’t seen your husband’s gum, but it sounds to me like he  has an abscess.  If you don’t have a dentist you can get in to see soon, then you need to get him to an emergency dentist.

He has an infection. It’s not something that can be treated with an antibiotic alone. He’ll need the infection removed by a dentist.

Any sign of infection inside the mouth is cause for concern and should be examined by an emergency dentist right away. Even if it was simply trauma, he’s definitely exhibiting signs of a serious infection and should have it medically treated right away. The long-term prognosis of the tooth involved, and perhaps even his life, are dependent on swift treatment.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Potts.