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I Have Dental Anxiety — What Can You Do to Help Me?

I Have Dental Anxiety — What Can You Do to Help Me?

Even if you love your dentist, you probably don’t rush to schedule your appointments. However, over 60% of people worldwide admit they have dental anxieties, fears, and phobias. In the United States, those feelings keep approximately one-third of people from getting the dental care they need.

Unfortunately, like most things, trying to ignore a problem doesn’t make things any better, especially when it involves your oral health. Regular dental cleanings help protect your teeth and gums by removing trapped and hard-to-reach tartar. Plus, they can detect issues before they worsen. 

Skipping these general dental visits puts you at risk of several issues, such as:

Plus, the bacteria that builds up in your mouth doesn’t stay there — it enters your bloodstream, increasing your risk of illness and disease in other parts of your body, including heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and stroke.

Our team at The Dental Touch in Oakland, California, understands that dental anxiety is real, but it shouldn’t compromise your oral health. That’s why we offer strategies to ensure our patients are comfortable, even before they step into the office.

What to do if you have dental anxiety

If you have dental fears or phobias, tell us. As we mentioned above, this is a very common problem and trying to ignore it only makes it worse. 

Once we know you have anxiety about your visit, we can offer personalized recommendations to make your visit easier. Common management strategies include:

Even bringing a friend or relative to your appointment can help ease anxiety over a trip to the dentist. But, if you feel like you need a little extra help, we could suggest medication.

Medications that help with dental anxiety

Whether you have mild or severe dental anxiety, there are a variety of medications to keep you comfortable and relaxed throughout your appointment.

Oral sedatives

One straightforward solution for mild forms of dental anxiety involves oral medications. You typically take this sedative approximately one hour before you arrive. This approach puts you at ease by the time you reach our office, and you remain awake throughout your visit. However, you need someone to drive you to our office and back home when you take oral sedatives.

Inhalation sedation

As you might expect, this form of medication gets inhaled, usually through a mask placed over your nose. Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” starts to work when you breathe the gas and quickly wears off as soon as we remove the mask. We could recommend this type of sedation for mild to moderate dental anxiety.

Intravenous sedation

If you have more severe forms of dental anxiety, we could suggest intravenous sedation. This form of medication is administered through an IV, and you sleep throughout your entire appointment. After having intravenous sedation, you need someone to drive you home.

With so many options, you don’t have to let your anxiety keep you from getting the dental care you need. We can help create the perfect plan to keep you relaxed and comfortable every step of the way.

Do you have dental anxiety? We can help. Contact The Dental Touch in Oakland by calling 510-244-2737 or booking a visit online today.

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