Dental phobia is a real thing, but you should not be worried because of sedation dentistry in Simpsonville, SC! According to several studies, up to 60% of people experience anxiety before seeing the dentist. Five to ten percent of those who experience anxiety are diagnosed with dental phobia.  

dentist monitoring patient under sedation dentistry in Simpsonville SC

Dental Anxiety 101

Burst Your Bubble

Different levels of fear are caused by dental anxiety, which shows itself as general apprehension, avoidance, dread, insomnia, and even true emotions of panic when approaching the dentist’s office.  

Those who experience dental anxiety often associate it with trauma, causing them to become immobile, hyperventilate, or feel sick to their stomach. Even though dental fear is uncommon, most anxiety when going to the dentist is natural.  

Simply said, a lot of individuals find it uncomfortable when someone enters their “bubble.” In reality, it’s just overthinking that makes them worry and develop anxiety. 

Causes of Dental Anxiety

  • The sound of drilling or even just the thought of it. 
  • Fear of choking, sharp ‘nervy’ pain, needles, or instruments used in the mouth. 
  • Loss of control in the chair 
  • Lack of confidence 
  • Generalized anxiety or depression
  • Trust issues 
  • Traumatic experience 

Indications of Dental Anxiety

  • Discomforts and pains from lack of dental care 
  • Clenching teeth 
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Fainting 
  • Low blood pressure 
  • Excuses, humor, or aggression to mask the anxiety 
  • Visible distress, crying, or signs of panic attacks 
  • Racing heartbeat and sweating 

How to Deal with Dental Anxiety

It can be quite beneficial to have earbuds with your favorite music, strike up a discussion with a friendly dental assistant, or even find a dentist who explains what each tool does before starting a new treatment.  

Sometimes it’s enough to make you feel at ease to know that an instrument is only being used to polish a tooth’s edge or that the sound of the suction removing some water from your mouth. 

  • Muscle relaxation and meditation 

While you wait or after getting into the dental chair, anxiety may get worse. In this case, meditation is an easy exercise to improve tranquility and reduce tension. 

Learning how to meditate before and during your dental visit will help you remain focused and relaxed. This entails achieving a state of profound understanding, concentration, and muscle relaxation anyplace – even at the dentist’s office. 

Once sitting, close your eyes or focus on something in front of you, and then let your body drift off into full relaxation. Make an effort to calm your entire body, paying attention to the various areas of your body while you do so. Start at your head and work your way down to your feet. 

  • Breathing Exercises 

Exercises that deepen your breathing will calm you down and soothe your mind. These activities can ease anxiety before and after dental treatments. 

Close your eyes and take a calm, deep breath. After a few moments of holding it, softly open your mouth to let the breath out. Repeat this until you feel relaxed. 

How Professionals Can Assist Patients With Managing Dental Anxiety

Although it is mostly the patient’s responsibility to manage their dental anxiety, dental professionals can take several steps to assist their patients, including: 

  • The use of distracting techniques such as allowing patients to listen to music, watch television, or view relaxing images. 
  • Weighted blanket use. 
  • Clearly outlining steps and methods before starting a treatment. 
  • Establishing nonverbal communication methods with patients, such as hand signals to know that patients would like you to discontinue treatment or take a break. 
  • Sedation dentistry. 

Maintaining a line of communication with patients is crucial. One of the most crucial things a dental professional can do is talk to patients, validate their worries, and respond to them. If you’re a patient who has dental anxiety, it will help you with managing your nervousness and maintaining your composure, allowing the dentist to perform the necessary treatment as fast and painlessly as possible. 

Why It’s Crucial to Conquer Dental Phobia

Dental fear frequently causes a full avoidance of visiting the dentist. The sad result of this is that more health issues may arise, leading to more stressful, uncomfortable, and expensive treatment than the initial visit. 

There is a tendency for patients to put off going to the dentist more frequently when their oral health deteriorates, which in turn increases their fear, humiliation, or embarrassment. As dental disease worsens, the likelihood that one will require urgent care or more involved treatment increases. 

inhalation sedation dentistry in Simpsonville SC

Techniques Used in Sedation Dentistry in Simpsonville, SC

Pelham Links Family and Cosmetic Dentistry provides a range of safe sedation solutions for those who need a little more help falling asleep. A small amount of nitrous oxide is usually sufficient to calm patients before treatment, but some other types like oral conscious sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia are also utilized.  

You don’t have to let your fear of the dentist prevent you from visiting. Our team at Pelham Links Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is sympathetic to your concerns and we go out of our way to make you feel at ease.