Solutions for Overcoming Dental Fear
Dental Anxiety is Not Uncommon
In fact, some studies show that up to 75% of Americans experience some level of dental related fear and 20% avoid dental care because of it. If you have a fear of dental work, we want you to know that making you feel comfortable and safe at our office is our first priority.
Dental Anxiety vs. Dental Phobia
Dental anxieties and phobias present themselves in a wide variety of ways, and specific fears vary from person to person. Dental anxiety may be mild to moderate, and often takes the form of a general sense of worry and apprehension when thinking about an upcoming procedure. Dental phobia is a more intense experience, with patients feeling an overwhelming, irrational fear of dental work. This can sometimes cause them to avoid care all together.
We Can Help!
Whatever your individual level of anxiety may be, our office is committed to making sure that your visit is as comfortable, quick and easy as possible. There are many solutions for dental anxiety, and we are ready to help.
Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe.
Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe, the patient receives 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide.
The patient is able to breathe on their own and remain in control of all bodily functions.
- The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
- There is no after effect such as a “hangover”.
- Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
- Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
- It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.
Do you experience high levels of anxiety when visiting the dentist? You may be a candidate for Oral Sedation. Dr. Michelakis is certified to administer different drugs to relax you and keep you safe.
Advantages to patients include:
- Treatment is completed when you are in a more relaxed mood.
- You will have less difficulty sitting through a lengthy procedure.
- Less discomfort after treatment.
The most commonly prescribed dental related drugs that treat anxiety belong to the “benzodiazepine” family. Drugs such as Valium or Xanax, . These drugs decrease anxiety by binding and toning down activity within “fear” receptors in the brain.
There are two different types of Benzodiazepines:
These drugs induce calm, including drowsiness and even sleep. This sleep state is actually a form of hypnosis which is a form of physiological sleep.
- Anti-Anxiety Pills:The most commonly prescribed dental related drugs that treat anxiety belong to the “benzodiazepine” family. Drugs such as Valium or Xanax. These drugs decrease anxiety by binding and toning down activity within “fear” receptors in the brain.Please note that you shouldn’t travel on your own after you’ve taken any of these drugs. Make sure you have an escort, even if you traveled by bus or foot! It’s easy to become disorientated.
While benzodiazepines act as sedatives AND anti-anxiety drugs, some are highly targeted at areas within the brain which focus on sleep. Others act in a more specific way and target fear centers in the brain. In most cases, higher doses act as sedatives and induce sleep, while in lower doses, they reduce anxiety without sedation.
Benzodiazepines are also Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants (i.e. there can be a decline in blood pressure and breathing). It is important to note that they shouldn’t be mixed with other CNS depressants such as alcohol. It’s important that you utilize the dose your dentist or doctor recommends. It is possible to overdose, and overdoses could lower your breathing to dangerously low levels, which could result in coma or death.
Please note that you shouldn’t travel on your own after you’ve taken any of these drugs. Make sure you have an escort, even if you traveled by bus or foot! It’s easy to become disorientated.