Most people have at least a mild fear of the dentist, but for some, that fear can prevent them from even sitting through a simple oral exam.
Dental anxiety can take on many forms, but the thing most people who deal with it have in common is that their oral health is at risk.
If that’s you, check out this short article to learn how you can reduce your dental anxiety and restore your oral health.
What Is Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety is a condition where someone experiences fear, high levels of stress, or other similar negative emotions associated with anything oral health-related.
Although, these symptoms can range and are different for everyone. People with anxiety feel nervous whenever they see the dentist but this ranges. They can be extremely uncomfortable during their appointments, start to cry, experience panic attacks, or never even have the nerve to book an appointment.
The causes of dental anxiety can be diverse, though for most, it’s usually a negative childhood experience. Many people with dental anxiety fear the pain associated with going to the dentist, usually because they experienced it when they were little.
How Can Dental Anxiety Affect Your Oral Health?
Dental anxiety could be the reason a person doesn’t see the dentist for decades. And in some cases, people with dental anxiety won’t see a specialist even if they are experiencing serious issues like toothaches or a knocked-out tooth.
Moreover, it seems that people with dental anxiety may also have poorer oral hygiene habits than those who don’t and have less oral health knowledge. This increases their risk for cavities, gum disease, and even missing teeth.
Ease Your Anxiety With These Coping Options
Dental anxiety doesn’t have to mean you’re putting your oral health in second place. Modern dentistry strives to make these treatments not just effective but also comfortable and pain-free.
When it comes to pain, the use of local anesthesia is the best way to make sure patients are comfortable. Your mouth will be completely numb during the entire procedure.
And even if your anxiety goes beyond the issue of pain, dental sedation can be used to ensure you are fully relaxed during your appointment. Here are four possible options you can access:
- Laughing gas: A mild sedative perfect for mild anxiety, even in children;
- Oral conscious: Medications with stronger sedation effects, ideal for more complex treatments;
- IV sedation: Used for lengthy treatments to ensure the patient gets a constant flow of sedatives;
- General anesthesia is the best solution for severe anxiety and invasive dental work, as it can put patients to sleep.
How We Can Help
Dr. Benjamin Baranes strives to offer patients in Denver, CO, access to pain-free and relaxed oral health. So whether you’re dealing with dental anxiety or are somewhat afraid of the dentist, come in to discover your sedation options. We are on your side to help you feel safe in the dentist’s chair.