The thought of going to the dentist can be a fear and anxiety provoking if you’ve had a negative experience in the past. If you are extremely afraid of going to the dentist you may even have a physical reaction to the thought of sitting down in the dentist’s chair. This level of fear and anxiety is not likely to disappear on its own. But, there are fearful patients who find a way to get proper dental care despite their anxieties. One step that can be extremely helpful is to familiarize yourself with the people and surroundings of the dental office you will go to. Anxious patients have also found success in overcoming their avoidance of the dentist through IV sedation anesthesia. You can overcome-or at the least learn to manage-your fear and anxiety about going to the dentist with these options.
Familiarize yourself with the people and surroundings of the dental office
Fear tends to intensify when there are a lot of unknowns surrounding a situation. This holds true when it comes to fear of going to the dentist. You may have anxiety about meeting the dentist, interacting with the hygienist, even sitting in the waiting room. These elements are all connected to the act of going to the dentist which is why they can cause problems. If you familiarize yourself with some of these elements it may help to reduce your fear and anxiety about going to the dentist. You can start small by visiting the dentist’s website and look at pictures of the office or take a virtual tour. Check out the pictures of the staff and the about section for the dentist. Once you feel ready, you can schedule a tour of the office, ask to meet the dentist, or set up a consultation. Each step can build upon the previous one until you feel ready to schedule your first appointment.
Consider using IV sedation anesthesia
The use of IV sedation anesthesia is an effective option for overcoming fear and anxiety about going to the dentist. This type of sedation will help you feel calm and relaxed during your dental visit. You will remain in a ‘semi-awake’ state during IV sedation which will allow you to continue breathing on your own and respond to simple commands. In addition, your dentist can do years’ worth of dental work in one or two sessions of IV anesthesia. Many fearful patients have found that IV sedation anesthesia is the solution to overcoming their fear and avoidance of going to the dentist.
It will require some proactive steps on your part in order to overcome your dread and avoidance of the dentist. But, it is possible to make progress toward moving past your anxieties. The dentists and staff at Samuels Dental Arts are experienced in working with fearful patients. We will be happy to help you take the steps necessary to overcome your fear and start getting the dental care you need.
Peter J Samuels DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.