Do you dread the thought of going to the dentist? If so, you’re far from alone! Research has found that between 50-80% of Americans experience mild-to-intense dental anxiety.
The worrisome thing about dental anxiety is that if it’s severe enough, it causes people to delay getting dental check-ups and care, and some even avoid it entirely. Obviously, this is sure to create serious problems in the future.
The expert care team at Expressions in Dentistry approaches your care with the highest degree of sensitivity, because they know just how nervous people can be once they sink into the dentist’s chair — and well beforehand, too. We’re here to help and will do everything in our power to make your care experience, no matter what treatment you receive, the most relaxing one it can be.
What are the roots of your dental anxiety?
Often we find that when people feel anxious about getting dental treatment, they have had subpar dental care in the past or dealt with a dental professional who wasn’t that sensitive.
Some people even tell us of negative experiences at the dentist that go as far back as childhood, so they associate needles and drills with agony. Let’s face it, dental pain is hard to forget.
It’s also true that if you expect pain, you actually feel more pain during a given procedure. Patients also report that their sensory experiences at the dentist’s office can really set them off. These are things like how the office smells, the sound of the drill, and simply seeing the dental tools, office, and other elements that are part of every dental office.
The signs of dental anxiety begin well before you arrive at the office for your appointment. You might experience heart palpitations, increased sweating, faintness, and even feel teary. Some people have panic attacks and lowered blood pressure.
What’s the solution to my dental anxiety?
We’re deeply invested in helping you if you experience dental anxiety, because getting proper dental care is essential to your overall health. Since we’re your partners in care, both of us play a part in making your dental appointments more pleasant.
Some things that patients can do to ease anxiety include:
- Deep breathing with your eyes closed
- Consciously relaxing your muscles
- Guided imagery, where you take yourself to a place you love in your mind, like the beach
- Distraction during your visit, like TV or listening to music with earbuds
- Over-the-counter pain relievers taken prior to your appointment
- Invite a friend to accompany you to your appointment
Our role at Expressions in Dentistry is important, too. We offer sedation dentistry, which involves using various medical sedatives to soothe you while you’re here and make your experience not only better, but positively pleasant! And believe us, you aren’t the only one with worries about dental visits. We offer:
1. Nitrous oxide
This odorless gas provides relaxation without any permanent effects. You simply breathe it in through a mask we place over your nose, and the effects are immediate. Don’t be surprised if you feel a bit silly while we administer it — its nickname is “laughing gas.”
Your mask stays in place for the entirety of your procedure, but when we’re done, we switch you to pure oxygen, the nitrous oxide exits your system, and you're good to go.
2. IV conscious sedation
This is a sedative option that you receive via an intravenous drip. It goes right into your bloodstream, and we can control how it impacts you with great precision.
You don’t go to sleep with IV conscious sedation, but your consciousness is definitely altered. Fortunately, it not only calms you, but actually minimizes how you perceive pain. You feel relieved and relaxed throughout your appointment with us.
And we almost forgot to note the most important thing you can do to ease your dental anxiety when you visit us: Be sure to tell us about it. DIscussing your history of dental anxiety and the details of what you typically experience helps us help you. If we’re aware of what you go through, we can do more to improve your time with us.
We know you may not become someone who can’t wait to come to the dentist, but our team can make your visit one that makes you feel supported and cared for. You’re in the best hands here.
Don’t let dental anxiety prevent you from getting the care you need. Call our office at 916-252-9186 to schedule an appointment, or use our convenient online booking tool.