Visiting the dentist may not be on your list of favorite things to do. However, for some patients, dental care can evoke significant fear and anxiety. Dental anxiety or dental phobia is a very real condition. Unfortunately, it can keep many patients from getting the dental treatments they need and deserve for a healthy smile.
Dental anxiety can present itself various ways and levels of severity. For instance, one patient may experience a racing heart or sweaty palms at the thought of a dental needle or injection. Other patients with dental phobia, however, may have a paralyzing fear of just sitting in a dental chair and not feeling in control. While modern dentists work hard to provide relaxing amenities and comforts of home inside their dental offices, some patients may still need help feeling at ease.
Whether it is a routine dental cleaning or a lengthy procedure, it is not uncommon to feel anxious about the following:
- Pain, needles
- Sights, smells or tastes of the dental office (dental drill, latex, etc)
- Feeling of helplessness or not being in control
- Fear of gagging (severe gag reflux)
- Trouble sitting still
If you’ve been avoiding or delaying your dental appointment due to anxiety, we invite you to learn about sedation dentistry.
How Sedation Dentistry Can Help
Sedation dentistry isn’t what you may first assume. It is not a means to “put you to sleep” or fully sedate you. Instead, it can be offered in various forms to help patients relax and be conscious but unbothered by their dental treatments.
While some patients prefer oral conscious sedation with a sedative pill taken prior to their appointment, individuals of all ages can benefit from Nitrous Oxide. Nitrous Oxide is commonly referred to as “laughing gas.” By breathing in a colorless, sweet-smelling gas through a nosepiece during your treatment, you can fully relax yet still be able to communicate with your dental team if needed. Best of all, nitrous oxide has no lingering side effects so you can safely drive yourself home if you wish.
The Impact of a Dental Phobic Parent
When dealing with your dental anxiety, keep in mind that the way you talk about and approach dental care is often passed down to your children. In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry found that the greater the dental fear or anxiety of one family member, the higher the level in the rest of the family.
If sedation dentistry is what you need to keep your dental appointments on the calendar and approach them with a positive attitude, then please don’t hesitate to request this service at your next visit. Call Downriver Smiles to learn more.