Between 9 and 15 percent of individuals do not get the dental care they need because of fear of the dentist, which goes to show just how common it is to have dental anxiety. If you are well aware of dental treatment anxiety because you deal with it yourself, you may have a few questions. Take a look at some things you likely want to know about your dental anxiety and fear and the answers you can rely on.
Should you discuss your fears with your dentist?
Absolutely! Your dentist can’t help you out if they have no idea what you’re feeling. Of course, most dentists can recognize the signs of dental anxiety. But the more you open up and communicate, the easier it will be to establish a plan of action that can keep you at ease. For instance, if you let the dentist know that you have anxiety because you are claustrophobic and don’t like feeling crowded near your face, they can take more frequent breaks, make sure your airway is not crowded, etcetera.
How can you handle dental anxiety without sedation?
Dental anxiety can sometimes be helped through basic relaxation techniques. For example, Harvard Health offers a nice list of relaxation techniques during stressful moments, such as:
- Breathing focus, which involves taking long, deep breaths and focusing on the breathing process
- Guided imagery, which involves mindfully focusing on pleasant imagery
- Body scan, which involves tightening and relaxing certain muscle groups
When do you know sedation dentistry is the best solution if you have dental anxiety?
If your dental anxiety is so severe that nothing your dentist does or changes helps to combat the anxiety, you may need to consider getting treatments while sedated. Nitrous oxide gas, which is often referred to as laughing gas, can sometimes be used to curb anxiety. Your dentist may also be able to give you a mild oral sedative just before your treatment. Some dentists even offer full sedation dentistry, which is treatment performed while you are completely sedated.
It is perfectly normal to get nervous at the dentist, but some people have more problems with dental anxiety than others. Reach out to us at Dentists of Hinsdale Lake in Illinois for an appointment.