If you had a dental appointment tomorrow morning, how would you feel?
__ Fine, going to the dentist is no big deal.
__ OK, I know I need to go, but I don’t particularly like it.
__ Anxious and nervous about what the dentist might find.
__ Scared, going to the dentist is a hard thing for me.
If either of the last two answers sounds familiar, then today’s blog is for you. We will be discussing dental anxiety and some of the ways our staff at Pioneer Dental Group helps patients who are afraid of the dentist.
If you live in or near Oregon City, OR, our team wants to make your dental care easier to handle.
The Causes Of Dental Anxiety
You will note that we wrote causes, not cause, of dental anxiety. The reason you are worried about visiting the dentist may be very different than another patient.
We also want you do know that no matter why you are anxious about your dental visits, it’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with you. We treat patients every day who experience various levels of dental anxiety.
Here are some of the common reasons people are reluctant to visit the dentist or, worse, avoid dental care completely:
◼︎ Bad Experience — If you had a bad experience with a dentist, it can make you hesitant to return. Maybe your old dentist was judgmental and would lecture you about your oral condition. Maybe your previous dentist did a bad job with a particular treatment.
◼︎ Equipment Concerns — Many patients are bothered by “the drill,” especially if they have reason to believe the dentist will want to use it. Other people are afraid of needles, but they don’t want to take a chance on the dentist needing to use one to numb their mouth for any procedure.
◼︎ Gagging — Some people have a more sensitive gag reflex than others. This can be problematic if a dentist wants to make impressions of your teeth, but it may produce anxiety just knowing that your dentist or hygienist will need to put different tools in your mouth to clean your teeth.
◼︎ Pain — Again, this is a completely understandable concern. No one likes to be in pain, but it’s also important to know that your dentist does not want to cause you any pain.
All of the reasons listed above are part of why we offer sedation dentistry in our practice.
Our sedation options offer to big benefits to patients who receive them. First, they have an analgesic effect, so you won’t feel any pain at all during your procedure. Second, it has an amnesiac effect which means that you may not recall anything about your treatment. If you do, it will be bits and pieces rather than the entire experience.
The simplest form of sedation dentistry that we offer is nitrous oxide.
This is also known as “laughing gas,” since it produces a euphoric feeling and you breathe it in to feel its effects. You may be surprised at how quickly breathing the gas will help you feel calm and comfortable.
We’ll keep that gas running throughout your dental care. This will keep you in your relaxed state until we are finished.
At the end, we just turn off the gas, and you exhale any gas that’s left in your system. Within minutes, you will feel like yourself, and you’ll know that you have received the dental care that you need.
The second type of dental sedation that we offer is oral conscious sedation. This also is easy to receive since all you have to do is swallow a pill before your appointment begins.
This is a stronger form of sedation, so you must arrange for a family member or friend to bring you to our office and to take you home after the appointment is over.
More than likely, you will want to rest when you get home since the medication will leave you feeling groggy and may cause you to fall asleep.
Start With Questions
We know that we haven’t covered every aspect of sedation dentistry in today’s post. If you have more questions about how it may be able to help you or someone you know, please contact Pioneer Dental Group. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have.