How to Combat Dental Anxiety

added on: May 22, 2024

Dental anxiety is more common than you think. Studies show that this type of anxiety may be found in over 35% of the population! Next time you feel uneasy about scheduling an appointment with your dentist, rest assured that they’ve likely had plenty of experience reassuring nervous patients.

Instead of postponing visits or avoiding them altogether, check out these tips for combating and overcoming dental anxiety and learn how sedation dentistry can help.

Tips & Tricks for Coping with Dental Anxiety 

It’s always helpful to communicate your concerns to your dental team. This allows them to slow the process down and take the time to explain each step to you. This can naturally alleviate some nerves in both children and adults.

Depending on where your dental anxiety stems from, such as a fear of any pain or discomfort or from a bad experience in the past — getting to the root of the issue can help quell it.

Patients fearful of pain can rest assured that today’s techniques and treatments are less invasive than they have been in the past. The right dentist will ensure that they’re gentle to keep their patients as comfortable as possible.

Relaxation techniques, such as meditation or controlled breathing, can help some individuals reframe their nerves and contribute towards a much more positive experience. In some cases, sedation methods may be used to keep treatment as painless and stress-free as possible.

Managing Dental Anxiety with Sedation 

If you feel that your dental anxiety would be best managed with medication, speak to your dentist about sedation options. Oral sedatives, nitrous oxide, and intravenous sedation can all be used to manage intense nerves and allow the dentist to work efficiently while the patient stays calm and relaxed.

Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can be administered via a mask. The gas allows patients to remain conscious and alert during their procedure while relaxing them. In fact, after nitrous oxide has been administered, the patient can drive themselves home!

Oral sedatives, such as Valium, help to reduce dental anxiety and can range in strength depending on the dosage prescribed. These medications can be effective for patients with dental phobia, special needs patients, or those undergoing multiple procedures. Patients may need to plan on having someone drive them to and from their appointment when taking a sedative. 

Sedation Dentistry in Bend, OR

If you suffer from dental anxiety or a phobia of dental treatment, Ponderosa Dental Center understands. Our friendly, experienced, and patient staff is ready to help you allay these fears by providing support in the form of sedation options. Everyone is different, which is why we provide an array of sedation techniques, including nitrous oxide and oral sedation medications, to help you feel relaxed during treatment.