If your heart starts racing and your palms get sweaty just thinking about a visit to the dentist, you are not alone. Millions of Americans have dental anxiety or dental phobia that is so severe that they avoid dental care completely. Millions more are able to make themselves get regular dental care, but they suffer needlessly through every dental procedure and struggle to control their anxiousness.
Dental anxiety is a natural anxiousness or fear of dental treatment that can be due to a wide variety of sources. Maybe it was a painful dental experience when you were younger or a fear of needles. Whatever the reason, no one needs to suffer due to dental anxiety.
Advancements in dental care in recent years have made it possible for every person to get the dental care they need no matter how much they fear the dentist. Talking to your dentist about your fears is the first step to take toward conquering dental anxiety. Your dentist has a variety of alternatives to help you have a stress-free, painless dental experience but your dentist cannot help you unless you make your feelings known beforehand.
For very modest anxiety, your dentist may suggest distractions such as watching television or listening to music while using visualization techniques to take your mind somewhere else during the procedure. Moderate anxiety can be addressed with an appropriate level of conscious sedation to match the level of anxiety.
Sedation dentistry included nitrous oxide, mild oral sedatives, and stronger intravenous sedatives. These conscious sedation techniques offer the majority of patients a comfortable, stress-free dental experience.
For the most severe dental anxiety or dental phobia, you may need to see a dentist that specializes in sleep sedation dentistry or hospital dentistry. These dentists are specially trained to perform all types of dental procedures on patients while they are under general anesthesia.
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