Many people suffer from dental anxiety or fear of the dentist. It can happen in a range, sometimes getting bad enough that people skip regular dental appointments, leading to more extensive dental problems. Dr. Sahil Goyal of Columbia Family Dentist, a dentist in Columbia, MD, discusses dental fear and how you can conquer it.
What is Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety is a fear of the dentist. It can stem from many things. Some people may be triggered by the sound of the drill, while others are simply from the office and the environment. Dental fear also occurs on a scale. Some patients may be nervous throughout their dental appointment, but they don’t have a problem coming in. Patients with severe dental fear avoid coming into the dental office as much as possible.
With severe dental fear, people may avoid dental appointments altogether. Skipping your bi-annual dental cleanings and checkups can have serious consequences on your oral health. Further oral health problems may develop if you skip regular appointments. This means more complicated dental procedures will be needed to get your smile back to normal.
Taking On Dental Fear
At Columbia Family Dentist, we do everything we can to make sure our patients are comfortable. We provide thorough patient education to each patient about any procedure we’re going to do. Understanding exactly what’s going to happen can help the patient know what to expect. We want to create a personal relationship with our patients so they know their care is in good hands.
We do offer sedation dentistry for our most anxious patients. There are three different types of sedation we can offer you. First is laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide. The gas takes effect shortly after you start breathing it in. You’re awake and alert throughout the procedure but in a dreamlike state. The gas’ effects stop shortly after the nose mask is removed, meaning you can drive yourself to and from the procedure.
Oral sedation is a step up from laughing gas, though they’re sometimes used in conjunction. They’re anti-anxiety medications that you take before your procedure to ensure you’re calm during it. Because oral sedation can take a long time to wear off, you’ll need someone to drive you to and from the appointment.
Lastly, we have full anesthesia available for extensive procedures like oral surgeries. With this, you’ll be completely asleep throughout the procedure. This helps you to be completely calm and allows dentists to do their work easily, with no fight from the patient. Dental work can be completed quicker and more efficiently usually with this form of sedation.
Take On Dental Anxiety at Your Columbia, Maryland Dentist
We’ll do everything in our power to help you conquer your dental anxiety at our office. Call us or schedule an appointment online.