Dental Concepts Blog

Can your dentist give you something for anxiety?

Can your dentist give you something for anxiety?

Are you scared of dentists but need treatment? Maybe you have an existing anxiety disorder that is made worse by dental visits, or perhaps you have dental anxiety specifically. Being scared to go to dentist appointments can prevent you from getting the necessary care and worsen existing conditions. Is there anything your dentist can give you to help you through your dental phobia? Well, let's discuss that together.

Dental phobia or dental anxiety can be caused by many things such as bad experiences, embarrassment, a lack of trust in medical professionals or even hearing bad experiences from others. There are many small changes you can make to ensure you feel more comfortable at the dentist, such as: opting for a calm dentist, having a regular dentist that you grow to trust, or opting for a dentist that specialises in helping nervous patients. But, if this doesn’t help you, and you need intervention to help with your dental anxiety, here’s what your dentist may give you to help.

  1. Conscious sedation. What is conscious sedation? Sedation dentistry is an option for people with extreme anxiety at the dentist, although you’re still awake the conscious sedation makes you pretty carefree and a little drowsy. There are 3 main types of conscious sedation your dentist may use, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral conscious sedation, and intravenous (IV) sedation. Your dentist will discuss the method of conscious sedation with you before your treatment.
    What is conscious sedation like at the dentist? Being under conscious sedation is likely to make you drowsy and relaxed, you may fall asleep during treatment, but you can easily be woken without medical intervention. For people with dental anxiety, conscious sedation makes them relaxed enough to have dental treatment.
  2. General anaesthetic. For those with extreme anxiety at the dentist, who has tried conscious sedation without success. When it comes to general anaesthesia, dentists view treatment with the use of anaesthesia as a last resort, because general anaesthetic does not come without its complications. Under general anaesthetic, you can expect to have no level of consciousness during the treatment.

It’s worth considering both sedation options you may need to be referred for treatment as some dental practices do not have in-house or affiliated sedation. You can check with your dentist whether this is something that they would need to refer you for or whether they can provide sedation services.

If sedation is not an option for you, or you think you can manage your dental anxiety, there are other tricks you can try. Firstly, if you have an existing anxiety disorder and you are medicated for it, you can continue taking this when visiting the dentist, or speak to your GP about the dosage when visiting the dentist. You could also talk to your dentist about breathing techniques, listen to music when at the dentist or use communication techniques with your dentist to put you in control of your treatment.

We hope this has helped to explain your options when you have the dreaded dentophobia. At Dental Concepts, we pride ourselves on helping nervous patients. We offer sedation dentistry as well as a caring atmosphere which puts our patients instantly at ease. If you’d like to find out more about dentistry as a nervous patient with us, why not visit our website!

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