Don't Let Fear Get in the Way of Your Health
We know not everyone enjoys seeing their dentist. It’s part of the territory, and it’s certainly nothing to feel badly about.
Dental anxiety affects between 9 and 20 percent of the population, and it spans the age spectrum from children to adults.
There can be just as many triggers for dental anxiety as there are patients, but whatever the cause, anxiety that leads to avoidance can have detrimental effects on your oral health. In fact, avoiding the dentist can lead to a vicious cycle of avoidance and delay, leading to more complex dental problems that might cause even more anxiety!
At MW Dentistry & Esthetics, we aim to create a relaxing environment for our patients, and we understand that some patients need additional support.
That’s why we offer sedation dentistry, which incorporates a mild sedative for a relaxed, more comfortable visit for those who need it.
The two most common methods used in sedation dentistry are nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas” and a mild prescription oral sedative.
Breathing a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide provides a relaxing sensation that many patients find very pleasant. It takes effect within a few minutes and wears off quickly. This method allows patients to talk to the dentist, hear what she is saying, and be aware of their surroundings.
Before administering an oral sedative, patients are asked about their medical history to ensure they have no health conditions that might affect their reaction to the medication. The sedative is prescribed and taken about an hour before the appointment.
Patients who elect nitrous oxide are asked to have someone drive them home, while those taking an oral sedative are requested to have someone drive them to and from their appointment.
Many patients find that after time they no longer need the benefit of sedation for routine dental procedures.
One of the best ways to manage anxiety is to establish open communication with your dentist. Ask questions. Be informed. Understand your procedure. Dentists are trained to treat patients with anxiety, and they’re there to help.
Other coping mechanisms include deep breathing, distractions such as listening to music, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation. You can also establish signals with your dentist like raising your hand when you need a break.
Once the current situation is over, we will return to actively seeing our patients to offer them the best dental care in a relaxed, comfortable environment. But if you’re experiencing a dental emergency, call us at (765) 643-5356 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Molly.