Does the thought of going to the dentist make you anxious? Maybe so anxious you wind up waiting until a painful toothache forces you to schedule an appointment or avoiding the dentist entirely? Well then, you’re in good company. About 15 percent of men and women suffer from what’s known as “dental phobia,” a level of fear and anxiety that’s intense enough to cause them to postpone getting the care they need to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
For most people with dental phobia, their fear stems from past treatments that caused a lot of discomfort or resulted in long, drawn-out treatments that took many visits to complete. Others can’t stand the thought of having a needle to numb their gums, or the sounds and smells of the dentist office upset them. But even though the reasons may be different, the result is the same: Dental anxiety keeps people from getting necessary care that can help them avoid serious health problems.
Sedation Dentistry Helps You Relax
The good news is, advances in sedation dentistry are helping patients of all ages remain relaxed and pain-free during treatment. And that means more people can get the care they need without feeling anxious. Dream Smile Dental offers several types of sedation based on each patient’s individual needs. Local anesthetics are the most common, and they’re given with injections or using special topical anesthetics. But there are other options too:
NuCalm: This proprietary system is designed to tap into your body’s own ability to relax without the use of drugs and without side effects. NuCalm works by interrupting the brain’s stress responses, inducing a deep state of calm and relaxation.
Nitrous oxide: You may know nitrous oxide by its more common name - laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is delivered at very precise doses through a special breathing mask. You’ll be conscious the whole time, and your dose can be adjusted as needed. At the end of treatment, pure oxygen will be delivered through the mask so you can return to a clear-headed state.
Oral anti-anxiety medication: Medications may be prescribed to help you relax throughout your appointment. You may need to take the medication prior to arriving for your appointment, and you’ll need someone to drive you to and from the office.
Oral sedation: For patients with extreme anxiety and for those with more complex procedures, oral sedation may be prescribed. You’ll take the medicine at home, then have someone drive you to and from the appointment. This is the deepest type of sedation, and while you won’t be completely “out” as you would with general anesthesia, you’ll remember very little of your treatment, if anything.
Learn More About Sedation Dentistry
Delaying preventive and restorative dental care significantly increases your risks for tooth decay, gum disease, bone infections, tooth loss and even oral cancer. Some studies have even linked poor oral health to an increased risk for systemic diseases like heart disease. Don’t let dental phobia hold you back from getting the care you need. At Dream Smile Dental, we know dental phobia is real, and we make sure our patients get the care they need to stay comfortable and relaxed. Plus, our treatment providers have special training in all phases and all types of sedation so you can feel confident about your care. If you’ve been putting off dental care due to your own dental anxiety, call Dream Smile Dental today at 781-330-0900 and schedule an office visit to learn more.