Dental anxiety can be crippling. At the least, it makes every trip to the dentist’s a stressful endeavor. At its worst, it prevents people from getting needed dental care.
Do you suffer from fear of the dentist? These tips can help you get a handle on your emotions when it comes to dental treatment.
Talk it out with someone who cares.
Try discussing your anxiety with a doctor, therapist, or close friend. Even better, try talking with someone you trust who has knowledge of the dental field. Giving voice to your anxiety can prepare you to tackle it.
An empathetic dentist would be willing to meet with you away from a dental chair to sit down and calmly discuss your concerns.
Ask for sedation
Almost all dental offices have techniques for reducing anxiety. But there are likely some near you that specialize in treating folks with extreme dental fear. Those clinics will be equipped with safe dental sedation that can work wonders – you could end up dozing your way through nerve-wracking nervousness!
Create positive memories.
Most dental fears are embedded in a bad experience. No matter what happened in the past, it’s difficult to erase the negative emotions.
Fight back by creating and dwelling on positive dental experiences. One nice visit to the dentist’s makes it easier to schedule another, then another, and so on.
Start small by scheduling a simple dental examination. If you do need treatment, break it up over multiple visits so that you can gradually build up your courage.
With a little help and honest self-examination, you’ll find that it’s easy to get a handle on dental anxiety. Get more tips by calling a dental office near you.
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12670 Crabapple Rd #110
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Your dentist may have recommended that you or a family member receive conscious sedation for an upcoming dental procedure. Oftentimes, this is recommended if the procedure is lengthy, or if the patient has anxiety related to the procedure.
Conscious sedation dentistry, sometimes called moderate sedation, works by relaxing the body and allowing the individual to be comfortable during dental procedures. Conscious sedation can be administered through a pills, medications in the vein, or with gas that you breathe in. Pills that are used for conscious sedation are generally taken immediately upon arrival at the dentist office, or right before leaving home. You will need someone to drive you if you have taken this medication prior to leaving home. Medications given through the vein (called IV medications) will require that a small needle be placed in your vein and a small amount of medication administered this way. Gas, most often nitrous oxide, requires simply inhaling gas through a mask. All types of conscious sedation can be enhanced throughout the procedure if it appears the effects are wearing off.
If you are considering conscious sedation, you should know that millions of procedures have been performed safely in dental offices across the country. However, not all dentists perform conscious sedation, so make sure to ask about experience prior to scheduling your appointment. You want a dentist who has received additional education, training and experience in delivery of these special medications so that they will know how to keep you safe and how to monitor you throughout the procedure.
You may not be able to drive home after conscious sedation. Check with your dentist to find out if you will be safe to drive, or if you will need a friend or family member to pick you up.
If you are afraid of going to the dentist or an upcoming dental procedure, talk to your dentist about using conscious sedation.
Sleep dentistry allows dental patients with special needs or severe anxiety to undergo necessary dental treatment that otherwise couldn’t be performed without some type of sedation. Another benefit of sleep dentistry is that it allows for all of the necessary treatment to be completed in a single visit. Typically care is broken up into several appointments depending on what area of the mouth is to be treated. When a dental patient chooses sleep dentistry, they are comfortable for an extended period of time, allowing the dentist to access and care for all of their needs. This saves the patient additional visits to the office.
Patients can have sleep sedation performed in two different methods. The first option is to take an oral medication just before their scheduled appointment. Within about an hour, most patients have fallen into a soft sleep. If needed, an additional dose is given. This medication lasts for an extended amount of time and continues to wear off after the treatment is completed, allowing the patient to rest during their recovery.
The other alternative to sleep dentistry is by having intravenously administered sedation drugs at the time of the appointment. These take effect very quickly and last until the medication is cut off at the time the treatment is actually completed. The patient may still feel slightly dozy, but the medication will wear off quicker than patients who take an orally administered sedative.
Sedation dentistry is a great alternative for patients that dislike having dental treatment completed but truly have needs that must be addressed. All sleep dentistry patients will need to have a friend or family member escort them to and from their appointment, as it is unsafe to drive while medicated.
It’s very normal for some people to have a significant fear of the dentist. While some patients may have had a horrible experience in the past that has kept them away from the dentist for years, others may just completely dislike having anything medical related performed on them.
When dental care providers record blood pressure readings on their patients, it is very common to see a spike in blood pressure that is more elevated than what is normal for the patient. You are not alone. A large percentage of dental patients experience dental phobia, fear, or anxiety. Your dentist and the staff understand that dental fear is real, and most of them are committed to helping you be as comfortable as possible during your appointment.
The first way to overcome fear of the dentist is to select a provider that you trust and respect. Begin by asking friends, neighbors and family members about their experiences to determine where you might want to visit. There is nothing wrong with seeing more than one dentist and getting a second opinion to determine whether or not the treatment prescribed for you is really your best option. This allows dental patients to establish a rapport with other practitioners and find the office that “fits” best for them.
Many offices also use relaxation techniques such as music, blankets or sedation to help their patients relax as much as possible. If you need to, complete your treatment in smaller appointments, limiting the time you spend at the office. Schedule your visits early in the day so you are well rested. Dentistry has changed significantly over the past 30 years, and most dentists desire to have their patients as comfortable as possible during every visit.
Do you get anxious before visiting the dentist? Are you tense and have trouble relaxing during even the simplest dental procedures? If so, you are not alone. The majority of dental patients experience some level of dental anxiety. In the past, there was little relief available to address dental anxiety other than a whiff of nitrous oxide or “laughing gas”, but advancements in modern dentistry have made suffering from dental anxiety a thing of the past.
Most dentists now offer some form of conscious sedation to help relax patients and relieve dental anxiety. The result is not only a better dental experience for the patient, but also better dental care. Dentists now understand that relaxed, comfortable patients are easier to work on. They can do higher quality dental work in less time when the patient is comfortable and relaxed.
Conscious sedation is available orally or intravenously. Oral conscious sedation is more common because it is easier to administer and because patients generally don’t like needles. Some dentists prefer intravenous sedation because the level of sedation is easier to control than with oral sedatives.
As the name implies, with either oral or intravenous conscious sedation the patient is always conscious throughout the procedure. The patient may be drowsy and will sometimes fall asleep during the procedure, but can always be easily awoken and can respond to questions. Even though the patient is conscious, in most cases they will not remember having the procedure. Most patients express surprise at how quickly the dental procedure seemed to have been completed, even if it actually took hours.
If you are ready to experience comfortable, stress free dental care, talk to your sedation dentist about conscious sedation. The days of dental anxiety are over.
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