Fear of the Dentist?
What many people with dental anxiety don’t realize is that they don’t have to suffer with their fear. We offer sedation dentistry at Dentistry for Life, so our patients always feel comfortable and calm enough to get the dental work done that they need. We want you to have a good dental experience every time while we work to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and strong.
Dental Anxiety vs. Dental Phobia
Some people are apprehensive about going to the dentist. They don’t like the sounds or smells or sights or they worry about what we might find. However, they can tolerate their appointment long enough to maintain their oral health. Unfortunately, not everyone can muscle through their dental anxiety.
An intense fear of every dental visit is classified as a dental phobia. A person who suffers from this condition can experience panic about any dental situation, even just a simple teeth cleaning. This could stem from a bad experience as a child, disliking someone else’s hands in their mouth, a severe gag reflex, or fearing pain.
It’s unfair to characterize every case of dental anxiety or a dental phobia as irrational. The people who suffer from these feelings are experiencing very real emotions. The most important thing is to help them manage their worries, get comfortable, and find the courage to get the dental care they need.
Complications of Being Scared of the Dentist
When you’re afraid of the dentist, you may choose to skip regular dental appointments every six months. You may tell yourself that a cleaning and exam aren’t necessary, that another six months away won’t hurt, that the appointment isn’t that important anyway since you brush and floss at home and you can’t see or fell anything wrong with your teeth.
These check-ups are critical to good oral health – and good overall health for that matter – as they allow our dentists to conduct an oral cancer screening, review your x-rays, check for gum disease, and discuss the overall condition of your teeth and gums. Our hygienists carefully and thoroughly clean your teeth to eliminate bacteria, plaque, and tartar that could lead to tooth decay.
We identify dental problems when they’re just beginning, which means they can be addressed quickly, saving you from discomfort and invasive dental restorations. Leave a tooth problem to fester and it will eventually lead to severe pain, infection, gum disease, and tooth loss.
Ways to Manage Your Fear of the Dentist
We do everything we can to make our patients feel calm, relaxed, and at ease in our Center City dental office. We encourage patients to listen to music, watch videos, hold onto a stuffed animal, anything that will offer comfort and a distraction.
And, of course, there is sedation dentistry, which can save you from unnecessary stress and worry about your dental appointment.
Oral sedation is a pill that is taken before your procedure is set to begin and creates a light to moderate sedation. You might feel sleepy and may not remember any of the procedure when you wake. You’re not completely out of it though, so you won’t have to worry about what’s happening without your knowledge – should you need to respond to us, you’ll be able. Recovery time after oral sedation is necessary. Patients cannot drive and will need someone to accompany them home.
Laughing gas is administered throughout your visit via a small mask placed over the nose. This light sedation helps put you into a state of relaxation. The effects of laughing gas wear off quickly. There is a brief recovery period but you should be able to drive yourself home after your appointment.
Get Sedation Dentistry at Dentistry for Life
Our Center City dental practice is staffed with gentle, caring people who want to help you have healthy, beautiful teeth for life. Even if you have a fear of the dentist, we understand, and we will work to make your visits to us as easy and stress-free as possible. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.