If you avoid going to the dentist because you’re afraid of the experience, you’re not alone. About 9-20% of adults don’t go to the dentist regularly because they’re afraid of it. Dental anxiety is extremely common, but it’s not a reason that you should skip the dentist.
Dealing with dental anxiety is not a walk in the park, for sure, but there are many ways that the experience can be more comfortable for you. The providers at Dental Art of South Bay explain how they can help you deal with dental anxiety and still get the treatment you need.
What is dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety is a feeling of overwhelming panic about seeing the dentist. You may experience some of the following:
- Difficulty sleeping the night before your appointment
- Feelings of dread that escalate as it gets closer to your appointment
- Crying or feeling physically ill
Some of the reasons for dental anxiety may include:
- Fear of needles
- Fear of injections or fears that the injections won’t work
- Fear of side effects (such as a swollen mouth or lip, nausea, or dizziness)
- Fear of losing control
- Embarrassment about your mouth
Although dental anxiety is common, sedation dentistry can help alleviate your fears.
How sedation dentistry can help
Sedation dentistry uses medications to help relieve anxiety. Here’s how it works and what to expect.
With sedation dentistry, you’re still awake and conscious throughout your dental treatment, so you don’t have to feel nervous about what will be happening. You will have control of what’s going on and you don’t have to be afraid.
Here are the three different types of sedation dentistry:
Oral sedation involves taking liquid or pills that put you into a relaxed but conscious state. Sometimes, Dr. Samet also uses an injection of an anesthetic along with the liquid or pills so that you don’t feel any pain.
With inhalation sedation, you receive laughing gas, which is also called nitrous oxide. This puts you in an extremely relaxed state. In some cases, you might even feel a little bit giggly. You may also receive an injected anesthetic to prevent feeling any pain.
When you receive intravenous (or IV) sedation, Dr. Samet directly injects the sedative into your vein, which means that you’ll feel its effects almost immediately. This provides the deepest level of sedation possible for your dental procedure.
Talking to the dentist about your anxiety
You may feel a bit nervous about telling the dentist you feel anxious about your dental procedures, but you shouldn’t. Rest assured, the dentist has heard it all before (and probably much worse).
You may especially want to mention your dental anxiety if you have the following:
- Overly sensitive teeth
- A high level of fear
- More complex dental complications
- Difficulty responding to anesthetics in the past
- Past traumatic dental experiences
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder that makes it hard to keep your mouth open for long periods of time
It’s important to seek regular dental care. Your oral health has a major impact on your life and affects the rest of your physical health. Not only that, but you can make your teeth look better, too. If you are self-conscious about your smile, cosmetic dentistry can go a long way. Contact the providers at Dental Art of South Bay today.