Dental anxiety is one of the leading reasons why people do not seek out regular dental care. This anxiety can be so extreme that it can prevent even a person experiencing a severe level of tooth pain from going to a dentist for treatment.
There are many causes of dental anxiety, but some of the most common causes are:
Fear of Pain
With modern local anesthetics, it is very rare that a patient would experience serious pain at the dentist. Even so, some people think that a trip to the dentist will be painful.
Fear of Needles or Injections
Even though not every visit to the dentist involves a treatment that may require an injection, people with this specific dental anxiety may still make an irrational association between the two.
Embarrassment about the State of One’s Dental Health
If a person has not been to the dentist in a while, they could be self-conscious about the state of their dental health. These feelings of embarrassment can become a barrier to addressing the problems that could improve their dental health.
Uncontrollable Gag Reflex During Treatment
People with a sensitive gag reflex can feel anxious about all the procedures that occur at the dentist’s office, which could be triggering. Often, their gag reflex is triggered by mental rather than physical factors.
Fear of the Unknown
Dental treatments can involve strange instruments, unusual noises, and odd sensations that an anxious patient may never have experienced before. The result can be an overwhelming feeling of disorientation.
At Nano Dentistry, we don’t want a patient’s dental anxiety to prevent them from getting the care they need. One of the ways that we can help alleviate that anxiety is with the use of in-office sedation.
Often referred to as conscious sedation, in-office sedation uses nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, to ease a patient’s anxieties and make them feel relaxed while they are getting necessary dental treatment.
Our in-office sedation uses a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen, which is both colorless and odorless, to lightly sedate a patient during treatment. In-office sedation is non-invasive, painless, and safe for patients of all ages.
In-office sedation is administered through a small mask that is placed over the nose, and the effects are near-immediate. Patients who have received in-office sedation report that they experience an increased sense of relaxation and sometimes a mild feeling of sleepiness.
The effects of in-office sedation are short-lived and start to wear off almost immediately after the mask has been removed. Patients are usually able to leave the office on their own after their appointment, but we would encourage a patient who may be nervous about driving after in-office sedation to arrange for a friend or loved one to bring you to and from your appointment.
While there are more involved options for sedation for dental treatments, including full sedation, in-office sedation saves anxious dental patients both time and money. More involved sedation requires an appointment with a more costly dental specialist, like an endodontist, who may not have readily available appointments for treatments like root canal therapy.
At Nano Dentistry, we don’t want to let dental anxiety prevent our patients from having beautiful, healthy smiles! Our in-office sedation can lessen anxiety and allow patients to feel calm and relaxed while getting the effective dental care they need! Schedule your appointment at Nano Dentistry in Westbrook, ME, to learn more about how we can help!