Conquering Dental Anxiety: Tips, Tricks, and Oral Sedation

Are you someone who avoids dentist appointments, even if you know you need them? If your palms sweat and your heart races at the thought of sitting in a dental chair, you are not alone - many people are scared of going to the dentist or experiencing what is referred to as “dental anxiety.” Unfortunately, this anxiety about the dentist can prevent individuals from receiving essential preventative dental care. If you’re in this boat, fear not! There are now multiple ways to overcome anxiety about the dentist and maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. By understanding the common causes of dental anxiety, the importance of preventative dental care, and the benefits of oral sedation in decreasing anxiety, you’re much more likely to walk into your next dental appointment with confidence.

 

Why Do So Many People Experience Dental Anxiety?

There are many reasons why people are scared of going to the dentist, but fear of pain is often the primary reason, followed by feelings of powerlessness and lack of control in the dental chair. Past negative experiences, such as a painful filling or root canal, or even memories of relatives relaying such experiences, can also contribute to heightened anxiety in patients. Additionally, fear of embarrassment or judgment regarding oral health can be a significant factor in triggering feelings of nervousness or dread. Acknowledging these very common fears and working with a compassionate dentist to address them is the first step in overcoming dental anxiety.

 

Practical Steps for How to Get Over Dentist Anxiety

#1. Practice Consistently Good Oral Hygiene - One way to prevent dental anxiety is by practicing good oral hygiene. Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing twice daily can reduce the need for invasive dental procedures. 

#2. Schedule Regular Preventative Dental Care Visits - Routine cleanings and checkups, often referred to as “preventative dental care,” help identify potential problems early, before they become more severe, which can potentially reduce the need for painful procedures. Evaluating the health of your gums, taking x-rays, and examining the teeth for early signs of problems are all things the dentist can do annually to save you both pain and money in the long run.

#3. Try Oral Sedation - If your anxiety is still elevated, talk to your dentist to discuss oral sedation options. Oral sedation is where a patient takes medication before a procedure, and it is a safe and effective way to reduce anxiety. The patient remains awake but very relaxed, and the medication effects can last for several hours after the appointment. This can be an excellent choice for individuals who are extremely anxious about dental procedures, but because of the sedation’s lingering effects, the patient should have a responsible adult to drive him or her home from the appointment.

#4. Try Relaxation Techniques - In addition to oral sedation, several relaxation techniques can also be one answer to how to get over dentist anxiety. Things such as deep breathing, meditation, and listening to calming music during procedures are beneficial for many people’s nervous systems.

 

Talk With Our Experts at Pier 210 Dental Today!

Don’t be afraid to discuss these approaches with your dentist and the rest of our knowledgeable team at Pier 210. Simply ask for assistance and we can help you find what’s best for you. Dental anxiety is a natural response to the unknown, but it does not need to prevent you from receiving quality dental care and preventing more serious problems down the line. By taking preventative measures, such as maintaining excellent oral hygiene and attending regular checkups and exams, patients can reduce the need for invasive and costly dental procedures. By acknowledging fears and working with a compassionate dentist, it’s possible to learn how to get over dentist anxiety and maintain a beautiful, healthy smile. Stop letting your anxiety about the dentist keep you from taking care of your oral health. Make an appointment with Pier 210 Dental by calling (530) 885-5696 today!

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