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Dentist for People With Anxiety: Finding Comfort in Dental Care 

Does your heart race at the thought of visiting the dentist? You’re not alone. About 36% of the population has dental anxiety.

Another 12% suffer from extreme dental fear. Dental anxiety could keep you from receiving the care you need. Without routine dental appointments, your oral and overall health could deteriorate.

Does this sound familiar? Read on to prepare for your next dental appointment today!

Understanding Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety is a stress or fear associated with dental environments. This fear causes patients to avoid seeking dental treatment.

Different factors can trigger anxiety, including a bad experience, needles, drills, or the dental chair. 

People with dental anxiety exhibit avoidance behaviors. They’ll do everything they can to avoid going to the dentist. This can affect their overall wellness.

Patients with dental anxiety may experience symptoms including:

  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Visible distress (signs of panic, crying, etc.)
  • Withdrawal
  • Using humor or aggression to hide anxiety
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Trouble sleeping before an appointment
  • Feeling physically ill

Managing Dental Anxiety 

Avoiding routing dental appointments can exacerbate existing oral health issues like gingivitis or cavities. You may eventually require emergency care or more complex treatments. Gingivitis (gum disease) can increase your risk of other health conditions. These include heart disease, lung disease, stroke, and diabetes. A cavity can lead to an infection that spreads throughout your body.

To help manage your dental anxiety, try a few psychological coping techniques, such as:

  • Hypnosis
  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation
  • Guided imagery
  • Distractions (like listening to music)
  • Using a weighted blanket
  • Progressive muscle relaxation

Anxiety Friendly Treatment with Sedation

Consider choosing a dentist who offers sedation dentistry services. Three types of sedation dentistry include nitrous oxide, conscious sedation, and general anesthesia.

Nitrous Oxide

Also called happy gas or laughing gas, nitrous oxide will keep you calm during treatments. The dentist will fit a mask around your face. You’ll breathe in a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen.

While receiving treatment, you’ll remain relaxed and awake. You can talk to the dentist, though you may not remember everything after the appointment. 

Conscious Sedation

With conscious sedation, you’ll receive medication through a drip placed into a vein. A dental anesthetist will monitor your vitals.

Conscious sedation is also called twilight sedation. You may drift off into a light sleep during treatment.

Have someone drive you home after your appointment. Possible side effects include nausea or drowsiness.

General Anesthesia

With this option, you’ll remain fully asleep during the appointment. Possible side effects include nausea. You may need longer to recover with this form of sedation.

Don’t drive yourself home after your appointment. Talk to your dentist to determine if they offer general anesthesia in the office.

Helping People With Anxiety

At Mcilwain Dentistry, we want to make sure you feel comfortable at your dental visits to ensure you keep up with your oral health. We offer different types of sedation dentistry using oral, inhalation or intravenous (IV) sedation to help those who may be struggling with anxiety, to make their dental experience comfortable and stress-free.

Overall, McIlwain Dentistry goes above and beyond to ensure that you’re comfortable around your dentist. Creating a positive environment is a top priority so patients can foster a positive attitude towards oral health that lasts a lifetime.

Ease Your Anxiety: Visit McIlwain Dental Specialists Today

Managing your dental anxiety is crucial for your oral and overall health. Instead, find a team you can trust to ease your anxiety. 

Look no further than our team at McIlwain Dental Specialists.  Through personalized care and a welcoming atmosphere, our dentists strive to make each dental experience as comfortable as possible! Contact us today to schedule your appointment.