Many patients are nervous and anxious about visiting the dentist. It is common for patients of all ages to have dental anxieties, but a visit to the dentist does not have to be scary. Our dentists offer their top tips for patients suffering with dental anxiety.
How can I cope with dental anxiety?
Here are a few tips that can help patients cope with anxious feelings around visiting the dentist. They will help you experience a more relaxing and positive visit…
- Speak to your dentist openly and honestly. We see patients every day who have dental anxieties. However, if these anxieties keep you from getting necessary dental work completed, it will significantly impact your overall dental health and wellness. When patients explain their anxieties, a good dentist will listen carefully and understand the position you are in and explain what steps they can do to alleviate your concerns. For example, if you tell your dentist that you do not like impressions because they make you gag, a good dentist will provide options to either avoid an impression or make the impression more comfortable. Thankfully, for patients with this particular worry we now have digital dentistry which avoid impressions!
- Consider sedation options. There are two ways in which patients can be sedated at our practice which includes oral sedation or IV sedation. Each type of sedation has its advantages and disadvantages, so we welcome patients to ask about the sedation method appropriate for their level of need. For very nervous patients we would normally recommend IV sedation. This is where a specialist doctor called an anesthetist, attends, and administered mediations that will make you feel sleepy and relaxed.
- Ask for recommendations from your friends and family. It is likely that someone you know is in the same position as you and they may have found a local dentist who can meet their needs. Some dentists are great at treating anxious patients and if your friends or family have found one, this will help a lot.
- Check reviews online. A good, caring dentist will generally have lots of positive reviews. Specifically look for the ones that mention treating nervous patients. Reading positive reviews will put you in a good midframe before you visit the practice.
Types of dental sedation
Many patients interested in sedation dentistry want to learn about the various levels that they can achieve. This may include any of the following:
- Laughing gas. This inhaled gas, known as nitrous oxide, is best for mild to moderate anxieties. It is administered through the nose and provides almost immediate relaxation for most of our patients. It can be used on all ages and can be an effective method for many. Generally, only hospitals offer this type of treatment nowadays.
- Oral conscious sedation. This method of sedation involves a prescription medication that is taken before arriving at the dental office. Patients arrange transportation and typically arrive feeling very relaxed and at ease. The procedure is performed, and patients are sent back home afterward to rest.
- IV sedation. For patients with more severe anxieties, IV sedation may be recommended. Sedation is administered right into the veins to provide deep sedation that often causes patients to fall asleep. This is the best option to go for in most cases.
- General sedation. General anesthesia is the same type of sedation used for surgical treatments at a hospital. Patients fall into a deep sleep but are monitored throughout their procedure and given the appropriate doses of sedation to ensure they are asleep for the entire treatment. This type of sedation is only available in a hospital setting.
Is sedation dentistry safe? Sedation is a very safe and highly effective procedure. Thousands of patients receive sedation daily, for medical and dental procedures and the adverse effects remain extremely low. At our clinic we always call a specialist doctor to ensure we practice in a safe environment.
Who is a candidate for sedation dentistry? We evaluate each patient before providing a recommendation for sedation. Patients should discuss their past medical history to determine if any conditions may impact their ability to undergo certain sedatives. This medical history should include information about one’s history of diabetes, respiratory issues, or cardiac health.
If you live in or around the area of Sutton, Carshalton and are ready to work with a top dentist in the vicinity that offers sedation dentistry, connect with the staff at Sensational Smiles today!