If you hate the thought of going to the dentist and delay scheduling routine dental exams or restorative care, you may have dental anxiety. This condition is common, and the ramifications can be severe. There are ways to reduce dental anxiety and get the care you need to keep your smile healthy and happy. The following information is offered from the team at Smiles By Dixon in the hopes of easing your dental anxiety.
What is dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety is a form of anxiety that only occurs when you think about or plan for dental work. While few people truly look forward to restorations like a filling or dental crown, there are some people for whom these treatments are nearly unbearable to think about.
Some of the signs you may have dental anxiety include:
- Inability to sleep the night before an appointment
- Feeling physically ill at the mere thought of dental work
- Trouble even making yourself enter the dentist’s office
- Mounting anxiety as you sit in the waiting room
There is no reason to feel ashamed about dental anxiety. You are certainly not alone, and there are many reasons why people develop these feelings about dental care. If you’ve had a previous negative experience at the dentist, you may be more concerned about additional treatments, which is understandable. You might also simply have higher sensitivity in your teeth and gums, which can make even a routine dental exam an unpleasant experience.
Are there ways to treat dental anxiety?
One of the best ways to move beyond dental anxiety is to work with a dentist who is caring and compassionate. Some dental practices treat patients like cattle, moving them through in an effort to reach a daily quota. Little effort is made to create personal relationships with each patient, and listen to their concerns.
Take the time to find a dentist who understands your worries and is willing to sit down and talk about solutions. Sedation dentistry is an excellent option for people suffering from dental anxiety, and learning more about the process can help put your mind at ease.
How does sedation dentistry work?
Sedation dentistry works by introducing medications that help you relax during your visit. There are many options to choose from, and your dentist can help you find the right fit for your needs.
Nitrous oxide sedation is one option. You simply wear a special cannula in your nose and breathe normally. As the safe gas enters your body you’ll become relaxed, although you will still be able to hear, see, and communicate with your dental team.
Oral conscious sedation is another option. You’ll take a pill prior to your procedure to help you relax, but you won’t lose consciousness. Light napping is possible during and after your dental work, but you’ll be easily awakened.
NuCalm® is a great alternative for those who don’t want to use medication to achieve sedation. This technology uses a small disc worn on your wrist to transmit signals to your brain. These signals slow your body’s adrenaline response, lessening anxiety in real time. The system works using headphones and an app on your phone.
Get the dental care you need
Don’t let dental anxiety prevent you from getting necessary dental services. Advancements in technology have made numerous treatments for dental anxiety available, and there is a solution to fit virtually every set of needs. Reach out to Smiles By Dixon today to learn more, and to discuss ways to help you achieve optimal dental health without undue anxiety.