Dental anxiety, like other phobias, is an intense fear or extreme dislike of something. When it comes to dental care, dental anxiety can be triggered by many different things, including fear of pain, negative past experiences at the dentist, or embarrassment about the condition of your teeth.
Dental anxiety is very common. In fact, approximately 75 percent of adults report feeling at least some level of dental anxiety. However, knowing that you are not alone is an excellent first step in coping with anxiety.
There are a number of common causes of dental anxiety. The fear of pain is a primary reason why people don’t visit the dentist. However, modern dentistry has virtually eliminated pain at the dentist’s office. Another cause of dental anxiety is the fear of embarrassment. Many people are self-conscious and worry about how they’ll look during dental treatment.
However, dental anxiety isn’t limited to these reasons. Some people have a fear of being judged or lectured by the dentist. Others are simply afraid of the sights, sounds, and smells of the dental office. While phobias related to dental anxiety are less common, they can still prevent people from getting the dental care they need.
The important thing to remember is that dental anxiety can be treated.
There are many different types of sedatives available to help patients relax during their appointment. Before your procedure, our dentist in St George and the team will review your medical history and determine what type of sedation is best for you. The common sedation options are as follows:
Local anesthetics are medications that numb the nerves in the specific area being treated. If your teeth are sensitive, our Dentist in St George, UT, may apply a topical numbing gel to your gums before administering the local anesthetic.
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, can be used to relax patients who are experiencing dental anxiety. The gas is inhaled through a mask that covers the nose, and it starts to relax the patient almost immediately. The effects of laughing gas are mild, and the gas can be turned off at any time.
Oral sedation is a medication taken by mouth. Patients who take oral sedation are usually able to drive themselves to and from the dentist. The effects of oral sedation can last for up to 6 hours. Since the medication is taken prior to the procedure, patients should arrange to have someone drive them to and from the dentist’s office.
IV sedation involves an intravenous sedative, which is delivered directly into your bloodstream. This sedative is usually given in the form of a pill or small liquid injection. IV sedation is the strongest form of sedation that we offer.
Sometimes, patients need more than just a prescription for a sedative. If you need a lot of dental work done, general anesthesia may be recommended. This type of anesthesia will make you completely unconscious, so you won’t experience any pain.
For more information on how to deal with dental anxiety, call Hallmark Dental Group at (435) 634-8338 or visit our Dentist in St George at 335 East St George Blvd #201, Saint George, UT 84770.
Overcoming Dental Phobia