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Holistic dentists can help if you're feeling nervous about visiting.

What to Do If You’re Nervous About Visiting the Dentist

It’s completely normal to feel a little nervous about an upcoming dentist appointment or procedure. However, anxiety can make your experience incredibly stressful. Fortunately, there are several ways we can help you relieve stress and make your visit as smooth as possible. From sedation dentistry to other tactics for natural stress relief, here’s how you can handle dental anxiety.

Ready to schedule a stress-free appointment? Call us today.

Addressing Dental Anxiety Is Important

Some people may feel little to no nervousness going into a dentist visit. Others may have difficulty even preparing for regular check-ups. Fear of pain or loss of control, a bad experience at the dentist as a child, and feeling self-conscious or embarrassed can all lead to dental anxiety. These feelings may even cause you to push back preventive care or the treatment you need to maintain a healthy mouth.

However, avoiding routine appointments can have severe effects on your oral health:

  • Tooth Decay: An important part of a dental cleaning is removing plaque from the teeth to prevent tooth decay. Missing dental appointments allows tartar and gingivitis to build up, creating even more significant problems, such as cavities, down the road. Severe decay can also lead to a root canal infection, which may require extraction.
  • Gum Disease: Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup along the gumline. When left undetected, the infection can damage gum tissues and surrounding structures of the mouth. With time, this can cause deterioration of the jawbone and widespread tooth loss.
  • Bad Breath and Yellow Teeth: Routine dental appointments help keep your whole mouth healthy. Stains can settle on your teeth due to your diet or bad dental habits, but a deep cleaning from a hygienist can help remove surface stains before they settle into the tooth.
  • Oral Cancer: The main way oral cancer is detected is during a routine dental appointment. During the examination phase, the dentist looks for any abnormalities, such as abscess or discolored patch, and can take tissue samples to catch any cancer early on.

How Sedation Dentistry Can Help

When anxiety gets in the way of your dental care, start a conversation with your holistic dentist about sedation dentistry. When performed by a trained professional, like our certified registered nurse anesthetist, sedation dentistry is safe and a suitable method for improving your dental care experience. This service can certainly be offered for dental surgeries and more invasive procedures. However, we can also use it for regular appointments and exams if necessary.

There are different levels of sedation that have varying effects. Local sedation is used to numb a particular area of the mouth and does not affect your consciousness during the procedure. For this type of sedation, medication is administered directly to the area that needs to be numbed.  Some options can help keep you calm and relaxed while still allowing you to stay awake.

General anesthesia causes you to lose consciousness for the entirety of the procedure. Our CRNA will insert a small IV needle to administer medication. The effects are almost immediate, calming your body and preventing pain. We’ll monitor your vitals, including your breathing, oxygen, heart rate, and blood pressure, the entire time.

Other Natural Stress Relief Options

There are several other all-natural options for stress relief that can help you ease nervousness:

  • Practice deep breathing and meditation
  • Consider taking natural stress-relief supplements and essential oils
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and sugary foods
  • Listen to calming music prior to and during the appointment
  • Do some light exercise before the appointment to help clear your mind

Most importantly, make sure to discuss your dental anxiety with your dentist. It completely normal for you to feel nervous about your appointment, and we are here to ease the process for you!

Ready to take the first step? Contact our office today.

Concerns Surrounding Sedation Dentistry

We all know how important it is to visit your dentist regularly for check ups and cleanings. This is the best way to prevent serious dental issues. Visiting your dentist regularly also gives your dentist the opportunity to notify you of any other dental services you may need or that you may be interested in. Many people experience serious anxiety when it comes to visiting the dentist and sometimes sedation dentistry is recommended.

Sedation dentistry is recommended for patients that are sensitive to pain, have a bed gag reflux, have dental anxiety or are getting a more invasive procedure done.

While sedation dentistry is very beneficial, there are some common concerns we’d like to address to ease your mind in the case that sedation dentistry is recommended for your dental care.

Who can administer sedation?

Across the board, the majority of dentists can administer some form of sedation, however, depending on the type of sedation, special accreditations may be required. For example, for a very deep sedation your dentist must have completed the Commission on Dental Accreditation program. Many dental offices even have a designated dental anesthesiologist. Typically, dental surgeons are also qualified to administer sedation. And sedation techniques vary from state to state, so if you have concerns about that, talk to your local dentists office.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

As with anything health related, your dentist should go over your family’s health history for any signs of issues you may have. As previously stated, sedation techniques vary, so ask your dentist what the dosage is for your age and what the specific rules are for your state. Know about your dentist and be sure that they are qualified and have the proper training. Make sure your dentist stays up to date on dental advancements.

Sedation dentistry is proven to be safe and effective under the right circumstances. The most important part of safety when it comes to sedation dentistry is having the right dentist. Do your homework and make sure you chose a dentist that has the proper training as well as good patient reviews or testimonials. You want a dentist that takes their work seriously and puts their patients first, making sure they feel comfortable and safe so they can receive the proper dental care that they need.

If you have any other concerns surrounding sedation dentistry, give us a call or schedule an appointment to discuss your options of sedation dentistry.