If you get major anxiety at the dentist you are not alone. Dental fear is a common problem for adults in the US. If your anxiety at the dentist is preventing you from getting the oral care you need there are some steps you can take to turn things around. To help reduce your anxiety at the dentist you should consider IV sedation anesthesia, look for a dentist who serves anxious patients, and visit the dental office before committing to an appointment.
Consider IV sedation anesthesia
IV sedation anesthesia is a type of anesthesia that helps many patients who get major anxiety at the dentist. It is administered in-office by an anesthesiologist and can be adjusted based on your needs. The anesthesiologist will monitor how you are doing the entire time you are in the dental chair. He or she will make sure you are comfortable and pain-free throughout your visit. IV sedation anesthesia will help you feel calm and relaxed while you are at the dentist. If you typically suffer from major anxiety every time you step foot into the dentist’s office, IV sedation can provide the relief you have been looking for.
Look for a dentist who serves anxious patients
All dentists have the same basic training. There are some who choose to take their training to the next level and specialize in a certain area of dentistry. And, there are some dentists who further develop their expertise and focus on serving a certain type of dental patient. If you get major anxiety at the dentist then perhaps it is time to look for a dentist who regularly serves anxious patients. Serving severely anxious dental patients comes with a unique set of challenges for a dentist. But there are dentists that are driven to take on those challenges because they want to help fearful patients get the care they need. If you want to find a dentist who regularly works with anxious patients then look at the websites of the dentists in your area. Look for dentists who offer IV sedation anesthesia. If a dentist offers IV sedation as an option it is highly likely that he or she regularly works with anxious patients.
Visit the dental office before scheduling an appointment
If you get major anxiety at the dentist one way to fight against it is to gather as much information as possible. Unknowns are often a trigger for people who struggle with anxiety. If you do not know what to expect at the dental office or from the dentist then it can heighten your level of anxiety. However, if you are familiar with the office, staff, and dentist it may help ease some of your fears. Call the dental office you are considering and ask for an office tour. You can tour the office, look at the treatment room, meet the front desk staff, and talk to the dentist. Familiarizing yourself with these elements can go a long way toward reducing the anxiety you feel at the dentist.
These steps can work hand-in-hand to help reduce your anxiety at the dentist. Combine all three for maximum results or try the one that seems to be the best fit for you. Do not give up hope because there is help available if you get major anxiety at the dentist.
Peter J Samuels DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.