Do you fear going to the dentist? You’re not alone. Dental phobia is one of the most common phobias among Americans. But if your anxiety prevents you from going to the dentist on a regular schedule (every 6 months is recommended), then your oral health may start to suffer.
Management Options for Anxiety in Dental Procedures
You don’t have to let your fear keep you from a lifetime of healthy teeth. There are many dental anxiety management options that your dentist can offer you or that you can do yourself to help ease your fear of dental work. Don’t avoid the dentist. Try one or any combination of these 4 options to help you overcome your fears.
There are different types and degrees of sedation that can help relax you during dental visits from routine cleanings to more in-depth procedures. Mild sedation includes nitrous oxide (known as “laughing gas”) that can help you to feel more relaxed. Oral sedation involves taking medication that helps to relax you while still allowing you to respond. You may drift in and out of sleep during the procedure while under oral sedation. The highest level of sedation involves anesthesia by IV. Sedation is an ideal option for those with extreme procedural anxiety because you will be essentially asleep for the entire procedure and won’t remember anything about it when you wake up.
2) Consult With Your Dentist
For some patients with dental anxiety, a simple consultation with the dentist where you can ask questions and receive answers in a non-threatening setting is all that is needed. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you may not know what to expect. At Creekview Dental, we typically start your first appointment with a consultation in an office rather than a procedure room. That way you will feel comfortable knowing that this first visit starts with just a conversation and no actual dental work will take place. If the conversation goes well we will typically proceed with a data gathering exam.
One tried and true way to relax is through meditation. This does require some practice ahead of time and possibly some lessons in meditation from a professional prior to your dental visit. Once you have become skilled at keeping your focus on your meditation, you may be able to use the technique during a dental cleaning or procedure. It should help yourself relax enough to get through it without anxiety.
It may help to bring earbuds or headphones and a device to listen to music during your procedure. Music can relax you and also help to drown out the sounds of the dental tools if that is a source of your fears. Noise-canceling headphones can also help. If you don’t bring your own, we have music available for you.
Creekview Dental Specializes in Dental Anxiety Management
Overcoming your fear of dental work may simply involve choosing the right dentist. Dr. Haag and the staff at Creekview Dental specialize in helping patients overcome their dental anxiety. Our caring, empathetic style of treatment helps even the most anxious patients feel at ease. We understand your fears and will strive to find the best possible combination of anxiety management options for you so we can effectively treat and maintain your dental health.
Call (651) 738-8204 today to schedule an initial consultation or contact us to request an appointment.