Dental anxiety may be common but for the patients who experience it, it can be debilitating to the point where you avoid or delay dental treatments. Working with a mental health specialist may help you to identify the cause of your dental anxiety over the long term, but when you need to have dental procedures, you can’t wait for that long. Speak to your dentist about your fears and find out if IV sedation dentistry could be an option for you. Let’s take a look at how to get over dental anxiety and what you can do to ensure you receive important treatment.
What Is Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety is an extreme fear or distress over visiting the dentist. It could stem from a bad childhood experience at the dentist, or it could be attached to a fear of needles, medical environments or the use of dental equipment like drills. It may be attached to previous trauma you have experienced or be associated with other psychological conditions.
Some of the symptoms of dental anxiety include:
- Heart palpitations or a racing heart rate
- Low blood pressure and/or fainting
- Panic, crying or other signs of distress
- It may also manifest as avoiding routine dental check ups or important dental treatments you may need.
Why You Shouldn’t Avoid Important Dental Procedures?
Early intervention is always the least traumatic and least expensive course of action. When you feel anxious about dentistry and avoid it, you can create bigger, more complex and more expensive dental situations to treat.
How To Get Over Dental Anxiety: Counselling
Getting professional help can assist you in identifying where your anxiety about dental procedures comes from. Working through traumas can take time but it is the most effective long term solution.
Discussing your fears with your dentist is always a good place to start.
Sometimes, an understanding ear and a compassionate word from your dental practitioner can alleviate patient fears.
How To Get Over Dental Anxiety: IV Sedation Dentistry
Patients who need dental treatment can consider IV Sedation dentistry. Also known as conscious sedation, IV sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to help you relax while a dental professional works on your teeth. You might drift off into a light sleep but you will be responsive to commands.
IV sedation dentistry is not suitable for everyone but it can give your dentist the opportunity to carry out much needed dental work. In the event that you cannot be sedated, your dentist may recommend you try laughing gas or nitrous oxide to help you relax for a shorter period. You will be awake for the procedure but the nitrous oxide will eliminate your anxieties.
Sometimes a positive dental experience with sedation and an understanding dentist can help patients to overcome their dental trauma and not fear future dental treatments.
For a more personalised answer to ‘how to get over dental anxiety’, it’s best to speak to a professional who understands your risk factors. Please contact us for a confidential appointment: (03) 5749 1208.