Dental fear is very common. However, it should not prevent you from getting the dental care you need. Dental fear can limit your choices. It is important to discuss any of your fears with your dentist. Listed below are some ways to deal with dental fear:
Speak up about your fears
If you are dealing with some dental fears, you should speak up about them to your dentist. Your dentist should be able to understand your feelings and concerns. He or she should know the right words to use to help you stay calm and at ease. If your fear is preventing you from getting the dental care you need, your dentist may also suggest other solutions or treatments that can help you overcome your anxiety. Some of these options may include laughing gas (nitrous oxide) or a sedative pill to help relax you during your visit.
Make sure you tell your dentist about any medications you take as well because certain ones may affect how your body responds to the anesthesia used in dental treatments.
Agree on a signal
Agreeing on a signal with your oral surgeon or dentist can help ease your anxiety. When you agree on a sign, such as raising your hand, it helps you communicate your needs with your dentist without saying a word. In addition, it is a way to communicate effectively with the dentist when you can’t talk in the middle of a procedure. This agreement can help you relax, knowing your dentist understands and is responsive to your needs.
Take a trusted person with you
We encourage you to bring a friend or family member to your appointments who can keep your mind off the procedure by talking with you and distracting you. You can also let them ask questions for you so that you don’t feel as nervous! If you’re too nervous about doing it yourself, your support team can be your voice so that you don’t feel uncomfortable speaking up about your anxiety and fear.
Bringing a distraction or two along will help you feel comfortable and relaxed during your appointment. Some great options are listening to music or a podcast with headphones, bringing your phone or tablet to play games, and packing a book to read at your appointment.
Some people even choose to bring their favorite blanket! This is a great way to make your time as pleasant as possible. It also helps you feel more at ease when you lay in the chair and have the dentist work on your teeth. Make sure you bring whatever makes you feel most comfortable.
Consider sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry is a great option for people who get anxious about their dental treatments. There are different types of sedation available, so you can choose the one that suits you best.
Oral conscious sedation can help if you have mild anxiety about the procedure. It involves taking a prescription medication about an hour before your treatment starts. It will help you feel very relaxed during treatment and have little to no memory of the procedure afterward. All you’ll need to do is take a pill before your appointment, then get ready for your procedure.
Nitrous oxide is another popular option for sedation. It’s a gas you inhale through a mask during your treatment. It can help you stay relaxed and comfortable throughout the procedure. It also wears off quickly after your treatment is complete. You can resume your normal activities right after your treatment session is over, making it a great option if you have a busy schedule.
IV sedation is the deepest level of sedation available. It is also done by a licensed anesthesiologist who administers the medication through an IV. This is best for people who have severe anxiety or fear about their procedures. It can also be used for patients who need longer or more complex procedures due to the nature of their work. While you won’t remember any details of your procedure afterward, you’ll have little or no memory of it happening at all. IV sedation can also be combined with oral conscious sedation if you’re nervous about the whole procedure.
At Mountain Stream Dental, Dr. Gerald L. Torgeson and the team give the best quality dental care to all patients. Call us at (541) 345-5363 to schedule a consultation.