If the thought of scheduling a dentist appointment causes your anxiety to spike, know that you are not alone. It is estimated that dental anxiety affects approximately 15% of patients. This does not mean that they are not able to seek treatment, just that they must work through their anxiety to do so. There are a range of options to help make your trip to the dentist go more smoothly.
For those who suffer from extreme dental anxiety or need a lot of work done on their teeth, sedation dentistry maybe the best option. This is when a dentist will sedate the patient using medication to allow them to work while the patient remains relaxed.
The most common form of sedation dentistry uses medication that helps the patient relax but leaves them awake. In this case the patient will be aware of what is happening but will not feel pain and will be in a relaxed state.
In more severe cases, some patients choose to go under general anesthesia. This means that the patient is completely unconscious throughout the entire procedure. This can be useful for someone who needs a lot of invasive dental work and once to get it all done at one time.
All medication comes with risks. This is even more true with general anesthesia. For those who want 2 reduce their anxiety around the dentist without the use of sedation medication, there are many coping strategies and other options that can be used to help a patient relax during a dental procedure.
The most important strategy to use is to talk to the dentist and staff. If you have concerns about needles or are worried about the pain, we have options that we can discuss with you. If you have had a bad dental experience in the past, let us know. We will be happy to work with you to avoid anything that might trigger those memories.
Be sure to let us know about your anxiety and concerns and we will happily work with you to take breaks when necessary and ease your worries as much as possible.