Can You Help Me with my Dental Anxiety?

February 28, 2019 3:42 am | Published by
In the last six months I’ve had two dental emergencies. They were excruciating. I know they were both my fault. I don’t go to the dentist. It’s because of my anxiety, which of course the emergency appointments don’t help. I’d like to stop this cycle. Is there anything you’ve seen that helps your anxiety ridden patients? Carina Dear Carina,
a woman in a field of flowers

There is a way to feel completely relaxed at the dentist…really, there is.

You are not alone in the anxiety you feel about dentists. It says a lot that you’re willing to take steps to work past that. I always tell people being brave isn’t the absence of fear, it’s being afraid and still doing it. My suggestion is you go to a sedation dentist. This allows a patient to be completely relaxed during their procedures, which also helps them to have a pain-free experience as well. Most dentists who offer sedation options only offer two levels. Dr. Saleh offers three. Which you choose depends on your level of anxiety. The dentist you choose can help you determine that at your consultation.

Levels of Dental Sedation

  • Level One: Nitrous Oxide
This is commonly known as laughing gas. Using a simple nose piece you’ll breathe in the gas. The dentist will do no work on your teeth until the gas has done it’s job and you’re feeling relaxed. Many patients describe it as a floaty feeling. Then, when your procedures are done the dentist will switch the mixture you breathe to straight oxygen. Then you’ll be completely lucid and able to go on with your day as normal.
  • Level Two: Oral Conscious Sedation
This is a deeper level. You’ll take a pill before your appointment. You will be relaxed, you will need someone to drive you to and from the dentist. Additionally, they’ll need to stay with you after your appointment until you are completely coherent and able to walk steadily on your own. Most people sleep through their appointment.
  • Level Three: IV Sedation
This is the deepest level. It’s not like anesthesia. You’ll still be conscious but will be deeply relaxed. Most patients don’t even remember the appointment.

Benefits of Dental Sedation

Aside from finally having an anxiety free appointment, you will be able to get more work done at each appointment. This will allow you to catch up on needed dental work you’ve been avoiding because of anxiety. This will help prevent all those excruciating emergency dental visits and bring you confidence in your smile. Plus, many patients find that once they are on top of their dental work, their body feels better overall. This blog is brought to you by Lake Oswego Dentist Dr. Mo Saleh.
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