Does the thought of having your teeth cleaned make your entire body tense with fear? Would you rather endure the agony of a toothache than step foot in a dentist’s office? You’re not alone. A lot of people are so phobic about going to the dentist that they prefer not to have any treatment. Studies show that 30% of US adults are “dental phobic” people, medicine, stomatology and phobia concept – scared and terrified patient girl at dental clinic office.
Throughout the years, dentistry is associated with pain, fear and anxiety. Studies show that fear of going to dentist ranked second only to the fear of public speaking.
Fear of pain
Fear of the unknown
Fear of gagging.
Fear of loss of control
Fear of injections
Fear of bodily change and mutilation
Fear of not becoming numb when injected
Fear of noisy drill
How can one overcome dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety and fear can become completely overwhelming. It is estimated that as many as 35 million people do not visit the dental office at all because they are too afraid. Receiving regular dental check-ups and cleanings is incredibly important. Having regular routine check-ups is the easiest way to maintain excellent oral hygiene and reduce the need for more complex treatments.
Here are some tips to help reduce dental fear and anxiety:
Talk to the dentist – It can be hard to talk about irrational fears with a stranger, the dentist can take extra precautions during visits if fears and anxiety are communicated. Goal of any good dentist is to make your visit as comfortable as possible. Let your dental team know about your dental fear, so that your visit can be modified accordingly.
Play your favorite music – Music acts as a relaxant and also drowns out any fear-producing noises. Listening to calming music throughout the appointment will help to reduce anxiety.
Agree on a signal – Many people are afraid that the dentist will not know they are in significant pain during the appointment, and will carry on the procedure regardless. The best way to solve this problem is to agree on a “stop” hand signal with the dentist. Both parties can easily understand signals like raising the hand or tapping on the chair.
Spray the throat – Throat sprays (for example, Vicks® Chloraseptic® Throat Spray) can actually control the gag reflex. Two or three sprays will usually keep the reflex under control for about an hour.
Take a mirror – Not being able to see what is happening can increase anxiety and make the imagination run wild. Watching the procedure can help keep reality at the forefront of the mind.
Sedation – Sedation offers an excellent option for many people. There are several types of sedation, but the general premise behind them is the same.
The following types of sedation are used in dentistry:
Inhaled minimal sedation
You breathe nitrous oxide — otherwise known as “laughing gas” — combined with oxygen through a mask that’s placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
This is the type of anesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure. They usually can, though, be awakened with a gentle shake.
IV moderate sedation. You receive the sedative drug through a vein, so it goes to work more quickly. This method allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation.
Deep sedation and general anesthesia
You will get medications that will make you either almost unconscious or totally unconscious — deeply asleep — during the procedure. While you are under general anesthesia, you cannot easily be awakened until the effects of the anesthesia wear off or are reversed with medication
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Lorton, Virginia, call Impact Dental Care today at (703) 952-6600 or make an appointment.