May 25, 2017
There are many patients that avoid seeing their dentist because of different reasons. Despite their reasoning, dental phobia is a real issue for patients and the decline of their oral health. That’s why Delmarva Sedation Dentistry provides helpful sedation dentist in Ocean City. We help our patients jump over their hump of dental anxiety and receive the dental care they deserve.
Causes of Dental Anxiety and Phobia
You can develop anxieties and phobias for different reasons. When it comes to dentistry, researchers have found a few common themes.
In a survey of people who had not seen a dentist for 12 months, a small percentage reported that they were simply fearful of the visiting because of anticipated pain. The fear of pain is most common in adults 24 years and older. This may be because their early dental visits happened before many of the advances in “painless” dentistry.
Feelings of helplessness and loss of control
Many people develop phobias about situations — such as flying in an airplane or being stuck in small spaces—are because they can’t handle the feeling of not being in control of the situation. When they’re in the dental chair, they have to stay still. They may feel they can’t see what’s going on or predict what’s going to hurt. It’s common for people to feel helpless and out of control, which easily triggers anxiety.
The mouth is an intimate part of the body. People may feel ashamed or embarrassed to have a stranger looking inside. This may be a particular problem if they’re self-conscious about how their teeth look. Dental treatments also require physical closeness, which is why we encourage keeping your dental appointments to form a bond with your regular dentist.
Negative past experiences
Anyone who has had pain or discomfort during previous dental procedures is likely to be more anxious the next time around. Sometimes their anxiety can be passed along by word of mouth, their old experiences lingering in the back of a new patient’s mind.
Symptoms of Dental Phobia
Some of the signs of dental phobia include:
- You feel tense or have trouble sleeping the night before a dental exam.
- You get increasingly nervous while you’re in the waiting room.
- You feel like crying when you think of going to the dentist. The sight of dental instruments — or of white-coated personnel in the dentist’s office — increases your anxiety.
- The thought of a dental visit makes you feel physically ill.
- You panic or have trouble breathing when objects are placed in your mouth during a dental appointment.
How can Delmarva Sedation Dentistry help you?
There isn’t a clear boundary that separates “normal” anxiety from phobia. Everyone has fears and concerns that affect them differently. However, the prospect of dental work does not need to fill you with terror. If it does, then you may need some help overcoming the fears and we’re here to help you with sedation dentistry.
Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is used mainly to ease light dental anxiety. It has an almost instant effect on the patient to quickly relax them for minor cleanings and mild procedures. Dentists place a mask over the patient’s nose that pushes a mix of nitrous oxide and oxygen that quickly takes effect after several steady breaths.
Exactly as it sounds, oral sedation is orally to send patients into a drowsy state. Although the patient is not completely unconscious, there is little to no memory of a procedure and lasts a short period of time. Not only does oral sedation dentistry benefit the patient who feels less anxiety and dental phobia, it also allows the dentist to work unbothered, usually leading to a shorter procedure time.
IV sedation puts medication straight into the bloodstream. This can be used for any procedure if your dental phobia is uncontrollable, but in most situations, dentists reserve this total unconscious sedation dentistry technique for long oral procedures or particularly difficult ones like wisdom teeth removal or root canals.
If you’re nervous about your next dental appointment, feel free to contact us about using our sedation services to receive the dental care you need. Call us today!
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