Dental anxiety is the feeling of fear, anxiety, or stress at the dentist or in anticipation of going to the dentist. When this anxiety is severe and causes complete avoidance, this is considered a dental phobia.
While dental anxiety is common, afflicting many patients of all ages, it doesn’t need to prevent you from seeking necessary dental treatment. Read on in this blog from Montgomery Family Dental to find out how you can manage your dental anxiety and still seek dental care.
Suffering from dental anxiety can feel isolating. However, it might help you to know that you’re far from alone. Dental anxiety is common in patients of all ages, from childhood to adulthood. Studies show that anywhere from 50 to 80% of Americans have some form of dental anxiety, whether it be mild or severe.
Dental anxiety in children is usually born out of a traumatic event or picking up on negative sentiments toward the dentist spoken by their parents. Thankfully, children have a good chance of growing out of this fear. Adults with dental anxiety, however, are more likely to have lingering anxiety throughout their life. This, however, can be alleviated with many different tools and strategies.
The most important thing you can do to help relieve your dental anxiety is to communicate these fears with your dentist. Dentists are well experienced in dealing with patients who have dental anxiety and they are more than happy to offer different methods of relaxing you and putting you at ease.
Some dental practices place great emphasis on treating patients with dental anxiety because it’s a big barrier to seeking treatment. We don’t want your oral health to take a toll because of emotions that can be easily managed with the help of dental sedation, a relaxing environment, distraction, open communication, and pain relief.
At Montgomery Family Dental, we provide a relaxing atmosphere and a friendly and compassionate team who will walk you through what to expect from your treatment. There won’t be any surprises and if you need dental sedation to relax you, this is offered for any type of dental treatment, including routine dental cleanings.
Sedation relieves dental anxiety and makes you feel deeply relaxed and often sleepy. You will feel your worries, anxiety, and stress melt away. Sedation also has amnesiac side effects so you will not remember the appointment afterward which also helps to reduce anxiety.
Nitrous Oxide - This sedative comes in the form of a gas and is administered through a nasal mask. Patients inhale the gas and within a few minutes, the effects take hold. These effects include euphoria, relaxation, sleepiness, and giddiness.
This is a conscious type of sedation so you are fully awake and can respond to the dentist. Despite being nicknamed laughing gas, it will not necessarily make you break out into fits of laughter.
You will need to fast for 2 hours before your appointment, but because the effects leave the body within just a couple of minutes, you’ll be free to return to your normal activities right away and you can drive home. This sedative is very safe and mild.
Oral Conscious - This is a slightly deeper form of sedation but is still a conscious form of sedation so you are aware of your surroundings. You may feel like you’re more sleepy and in a dream-like state.
This sedative is in the form of an anti-anxiety pill that is taken an hour before your appointment. Someone will need to drive you to and from your appointment because the effects of the sedative can last for up to 24 hours.
Once your appointment starts, the sedative should be in effect. You will feel deeply relaxed and groggy and may even fall asleep. If you do, it’ll be easy to wake you up. You cannot drive, drink alcohol, or sign legal documents for 24 hours.
Someone should also monitor you for the rest of the day and you may need assistance getting upstairs. Take it easy for the rest of the day and get some rest.
Dental sedation is a very useful tool in the arsenal of a dentist who needs to work on a patient’s mouth without causing them to feel distressed.
However, we need to review your medical history during a consultation to determine if you’re a good candidate, first. Contact us at Montgomery Family Dental today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Montgomery.