How to put an end to your fear of the dentist
Dental anxiety is real. It’s so real, in fact that an estimated 9 to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety and fear.
Some of the symptoms of dental phobia or anxiety may feel familiar to you.:
- You avoid going to the dentist
- Feeling so nervous prior to the exam that you can’t focus or sleep prior to the exam.
- You get increasingly nervous while you’re in the waiting room and consider just making a run for it.
- You get very emotional or have trouble breathing once you sit in the chair and see the instruments.
- You can’t “rationalize” or “cope” with the above symptoms, no matter how hard you try.
How to cope with your fear of the dentist
You can make dental anxiety a thing of the past. Today, there are many ways for you to cope with your fear of the dentist – from simple relaxation techniques to medication-based relaxation and sedation techniques.
- Talk to your dentist (simple and so effective)
- Distract yourself with technology or music
- Breathing and relaxation techniques
- Consider medication (before, during)
- Ask for a break when needed
Relaxation and sedation dentistry
Nitrous oxide – better known as laughing gas – is a form of inhaled minimal sedation. Combined with oxygen through a mask that’s placed over the patient’s nose. The gas helps people relax and the dentist controls the amount of gas. With this form of sedation you will be able to drive yourself home or to work after the procedure.
In cases of severe anxiety, medication intervention is a possibility. If you speak with your dentist, he may suggest that you take medication that makes you more relaxed such as Valium or Xanax. This is known as conscious sedation. You are still alert and in total control. Your dentist may also recommend an intravenous or ‘IV’ sedation. This is also known as sleep sedation dentistry, when patients are put under general anesthesia and are “asleep” during the procedure.
The effects of sedative medicine take time to wear off and patients won’t be able to drink alcohol, drive or work machinery following the procedure.
Relaxation dentistry is real
Don’t put off needed dental care because of fear. Comfort is an important part of great patient care. Whether it is from his relaxed demeanor and friendly approach or with an oral sedative (pill) and nitrous oxide (laughing gas), Dr. Wheatley will do all that he can to make you comfortable while you are in his chair. Should it become necessary, we work with a certified anesthesiologist who can provide IV sedation in our dental office so that you can be completely sedated.
Visit our relaxation dentistry service page or schedule your consultation today and put an end to dental anxiety.