Solutions for Overcoming Dental Fear
Jennifer Hathaway, D.D.S., F.A.G.D. can help you get the care you need.
Dental Anxiety is Not Uncommon
In fact, some studies show that up to 75% of Americans experience some level of dental related fear and 20% avoid dental care because of it. If you have a fear of dental work, we want you to know that making you feel comfortable and safe at our office is our first priority.
Dental Anxiety vs. Dental Phobia
Dental anxieties and phobias present themselves in a wide variety of ways, and specific fears vary from person to person. Dental anxiety may be mild to moderate, and often takes the form of a general sense of worry and apprehension when thinking about an upcoming procedure. Dental phobia is a more intense experience, with patients feeling an overwhelming, irrational fear of dental work. This can sometimes cause them to avoid care altogether.
We Can Help!
Whatever your individual level of anxiety may be, our office is committed to making sure that your visit is as comfortable, quick, and easy as possible. There are many solutions for dental anxiety, and we are ready to help.
Here are a few popular methods for easing anxiety in the dental office:
Informing us as to what you are afraid of is a great place to start. Often we can quell a fear simply by giving you correct or updated information. We will always keep you informed before, during and after your procedure, making sure that you understand what is going on and why we are doing it.
- Calming Techniques:
Many patients find it helpful to practice controlled breathing or to find distractions inside the room.
- Listening to Music:
With most procedures, the use of personal headphones and music is allowed. This is a great way to keep calm and pass the time while in the chair.
- Taking Breaks:
Let us know if you would like to take a short break during your treatment by signaling with your left hand.
Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas that you can breathe.
Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe, the patient receives 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide.
The patient is able to breathe on their own and remains in control of all bodily functions.
The patient may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep, not remembering all of what happened during their appointment.
THERE ARE MANY ADVANTAGES TO USING NITROUS OXIDE
- The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
- There is no after effect such as a “hangover”.
- Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
- Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
- It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain-killing properties develop.
Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide
You should not utilize Nitrous Oxide if you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Though there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, exotic chest problems, M.S., a cold, or other difficulties with breathing.
You may want to ask your dentist for a “5-minute trial” to see how you feel with this type of sedation method before proceeding.
Oral health is important for the health of your whole body. Don’t let fear stand in your way of good dental care! We can help you get the care that you need. Call Today to Make an Appointment. Dr. Jennifer Hathaway, D.D.S. Phone Number 979-776-6884