This AGD (Academy of General Dentistry) article is great because many people have a fear of the dentist and feel alone in their anxiousness, which just makes it worse. Let me be the first to tell you that the first step in relieving fear is knowledge! The fear of the unknown is often the biggest obstacle in getting anything accomplished.
So let’s discuss some options if you are nervous about getting treatment done.
If just the idea of getting into your car and driving towards the dentist office raises your blood pressure, and causes your palms to get sweaty, relax! there is something you can do so that you can still get your much needed treatment done. Call your dental provider and ask if he or she will prescribe a Valium for you to take before your appointment. This will make the trip to the dentist and the treatment that follows easy for you. Of course, make sure you have someone to drive you to and from your appointment.
If you are comfortable getting to the dentist without high levels of anxiety, but the idea of getting into the dental chair and having treatment performed scares you, feel free to ask about nitrous oxide, or more commonly referred to as “laughing gas”. This makes you feel quite relaxed while in the chair. People often say they feel as if they “floated” through their appointment. The beautiful thing about laughing gas is that you can drive yourself afterward. There are no lasting effects. If money is a concern , ask if the office charges for laughing gas. Some do, and some (like us) don’t.
If the idea of getting treatment done puts you into a panic, you maybe a perfect candidate for sedation dentistry. This is often done with IV sedation. You will be put completely under for treatment and wake up when it’s all complete. This also requires a ride to and from your appointment. Not all offices offer sedation dentistry, so if you feel like it is your best option, make sure to call around to find out who in your area offers this service.
A lot of people who are nervous about going to the dentist are are feeling this way because they don’t know what’s happening, and feel like they aren’t in charge. Please remember, you are welcome to ask ANY questions you may have to make your visit more comfortable. The dentist, the hygienist or the dental assistant are all capable of putting your fears at ease with knowledge of what is happening at your appointment. If there is something I can stress, it’s that it is OK to ask questions! If you feel like you don’t even know what to ask, tell your dental provider that as well, this should signal to them that you want to know what’s happening, and they should walk through step by step with you what’s going on during your treatment.
Please, if you have any questions regarding your oral care, what your treatment entails, or what options are available at our office, call us (719) 576-1730! we WANT to make your visit to the dentist as enjoyable as possible!