You are not alone if you get nervous at just the thought of making a dentist appointment. Many Americans get anxious and scared of dental visits. There is even the term, dentophobia, for the fear of the dentist. This fear and anxiety can cause people to skip visits to their dentist, which keeps them from receiving important preventative care. Therefore, dental anxiety can actually increase the risk of developing dental complications. The longer someone waits to go to the dentist, the longer a problem has to worsen. Maintaining your regular visits to the dentist can prevent problems from happening in the first place. So, what are some ways to manage your dental anxiety?
Talk It Out
Your dentist wants you to feel calm and comfortable. If you feel yourself getting anxious, just talk to your dentist or someone on their team. You can even give them a heads up when you set your appointment. They can help you determine if there is a root cause of your nervousness: Are you generally afraid of pain? Are you embarrassed of how long it has been since your last visit? Whatever the source of your dental anxiety is, your dentist will be there to help. Once they know the root cause of your anxiety, they may be able to help provide options to ease your nerves. Talking things out in a non-judgmental way is always helpful.
If talking it out or thinking of your happy place does not help to ease your anxiety, your dentist may prescribe sedation. Different sedative options are available depending on your needs. Nitrous oxide or laughing gas is the most often prescribed form of sedation. The gas is inhaled through a mask. You will stay awake and alert, but calm and at ease. Oral sedatives may be prescribed for those with deeper cases of anxiety. For those with severe dental anxiety, your dentist may prescribe IV sedation. A sedative will be provided intravenously by a trained anesthesiologist, who will monitor you throughout the procedure.
Don’t let dental anxiety keep you from care
The team at Smith Family Dentistry in Greenville, TX, wants to help ease your dental anxiety. To schedule a consultation, call us at 903-455-5750. We proudly serve patients from Hunt County, Greenville, Royce City, Sulphur Springs, and all surrounding communities.