How to Deal With Dental Anxiety: Treatment Options and Sedation Dentistry

Posted in Blog, dental anxiety, fear of the dentist, sedation dentistry

 What is Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety is used to describe any form of fear or stress associated with visiting a dental office. It could be connected with an anxiety disorder, but it’s also very common among those in perfect mental health. There could be triggers, such as needles or drills, or the anxiety could be triggered by the office itself. Some people may experience such an extreme form of dental anxiety that they avoid going to the dentist altogether.

 

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How to Get Over Your Fear of Going to the Dentist

 

You don’t have to accept your dental fear as unchanging. There are several steps you can take to overcome it, including:

  1. Share your fears with your dentist.
  2. Distract yourself with headphones playing music, a stress ball you can squeeze, or visualization of your “happy place”.
  3. Practice mindfulness techniques, such as counting your breaths.

 

Dental Anxiety Treatment Options

Your dentist can help you manage your dental anxiety. One technique which has proven to be effective in calming patients’ fears is sedation dentistry. This involves a method of sedation to calm the patient. There are four types of sedation dentistry that are commonly used:

  • Minimal sedation: This uses nitrous oxide, laughing gas, or medication. This is the type most commonly offered by dentists. Patients are simply relaxed while still aware.
  • Moderate sedation: This uses nitrous oxide or laughing gas, coupled with medication. Patients are usually asleep for the visit and not aware of the procedure performed.
  • IV sedation: This uses medications that are delivered through an IV line. Not many dentists offer this option.
  • General anesthesia: This is also referred to as deep sedation. Like moderate sedation and IV sedation, the patient is asleep during the procedure.

 

Advanced Dental Specialists in Clark County, Washington, can provide all four options for sedation dentistry. This allows you to choose which method will be best for your particular case of dental anxiety. Contact Advanced Dental Specialists today to schedule an appointment for your dental needs, and don’t forget to ask how we can help you manage your fears.

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