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Going To The Dentist – How To Deal With Dental Anxiety

Excerpt: If you are worried about your appointment, you might find yourself...
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If you are worried about your appointment, you might find yourself panicking, scrambling to what seems like the millions of options on how to make the process less painful. However, despite all the concern that is generated by going to the dentist, this is not as much of a problem when people use tools designed specifically for dental anxiety.

What Is Dental Anxiety?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), dental anxiety is “a significant public health concern that warrants further research and professional attention.” Some individuals experience such anxiety that it severely impacts their quality of life.
The cause of dental anxiety is largely unknown, but its effects can be devastating. Anxiety can cause a person to feel choked or panicked, making it difficult to speak or breathe. It can also lead to headaches, nausea, and even heart palpitations.
Fortunately, there are ways to cope with dental anxiety: 

Educate Yourself About Dental Anxiety

The more you know about what to expect and how to manage your own anxiety, the better prepared you will be for visits to the dentist. 

Practice relaxation techniques before your appointment

This may include deep breathing exercises focusing on your body’s natural relaxants (such as sunlight), or listening to music that appeals to you.

Bring a friend or family member with you to appointments

Having somebody nearby who can provide moral support can be especially helpful when the anxiety starts to get overwhelming.
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How To Deal With Dental Anxiety?

If you’re someone who’s dreading going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Dental anxiety is one of the most common fears, and it can be tough to get over. But there are ways to deal with dental anxiety, and it’s worth it to overcome it. 

Accept That Dental Anxiety Is Real

The first step is to admit that you have dental anxiety. Yes, it might seem silly, but it’s important to start off by acknowledging that the fear is real. Once you’ve acknowledged that your anxiety exists, you can work on understanding why it’s happening and how to make it go away.

Talk About Your Fears With Someone You Trust

Talking with a friend or family member about what’s bothering you can help you understand your anxiety better and work on managing it in a positive way. Plus, they’ll be able to offer honest feedback and support.

Practice relaxation techniques before going to the dentist

It might sound strange, but practicing relaxation techniques before you go to the dentist can actually help. Certain breathing exercises and meditation exercise can help prepare you for dental anxiety
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What Types Of Sedation Is Used For Anxiety?

There are a number of different sedation methods we use to handle anxiety, the cost will vary based on the type of sedation, and length of treatment:

Nitrous Oxide  

Nitrous Oxide is a very safe form of light sedation is also known as ‘laughing gas’. This method can relieve anxiety and increase the feeling of relaxation during the procedure. The patient is still completely awake and conscious. After the sedation is terminated, the effects of nitrous oxide do not last very long (several minutes at most). This unique characteristic of nitrous oxide use allows the patient to return to functioning normally soon after the appointment ends.

Oral Sedation

Oral Sedation is another way to achieve a sedation effect for dental procedures by taking oral sedation pills that are prescribed to you by the dentist. During the procedure, the dentist will monitor the patient’s vital signs. Oral sedation can be combined with nitrous oxide to have an additive effect. The patient is still conscious and breathing on their own.

Intravenous (IV) Sedation

This method is also considered another form of conscious sedation, however, the patient’s awareness of the procedure is minimal, and typically they cannot remember the procedure itself. Vital signs are monitored closely by a designated and trained clinical team member.

Are there different levels of Sedation Dentistry?

Minimal Sedation

Being awake but relaxed.

Moderate Sedation

Remembering the procedure but you might be slightly dizzy during or after.

Deep Sedation

Being held at the edge of the consciousness but you are still awake.

General Anesthesia

Being completely unconscious.

Final Thoughts On Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety can be a minor roadblock or a potentially crippling phobia for patients. Unfortunately, the majority of dental issues will not go away on their own and cannot be treated without professional help. If you do not come to the dentist sooner than later, you will only make the issue you are dealing with worse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, we also do what we can to accommodate any dental anxiety.

It will depend on the type of sedation, and how long the procedure is.

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