If you are nervous about going to the dentist, you are not alone. The American Dental Association performed a survey to learn how often Americans visit the dentist. When investigating why people do not visit the dentist, they found that 22% of adults said they were afraid. We know that there are also people who do visit the dentist and fight fear and anxiety to do so.
Our goal is to make all of our patients as comfortable as possible so they can overcome any dental fears and receive the care they need. To accomplish this goal, we take several steps to help you relax during your dental treatment.
We understand that many people fear a dental procedure because they do not know and cannot see what is going on. For those who are more at ease when they are in the know, we explain in detail everything we are doing as well as what you can expect to experience. We will warn you if a material we use has a bad taste or if you will feel a pressure or pushing sensation.
We believe that well-informed patients are less anxious about dental work. However, we also understand that some patients do not want to know what is going. Please just let us know which is your preference.
We also believe that distraction helps make a dental visit pass more quickly. Due to the nature of our work, it isn’t really feasible for you to have an active part in a conversation. So we offer ceiling-mounted televisions and wireless headphones. You can choose which program to watch and how loud to turn up the volume. Many of our patients become so engrossed in their shows that they can almost forget they are at the dentist.
Our wireless headphones are also available for patients who desire to block out the noisy sounds of dental treatment with noise-canceling technology. If you are interested in listening to music or television or simply want to hear less of what is going on, just ask for a set of headphones.
There’s a chance you could even forget that you’re at the dentist because you feel like you are at a spa! We are proud to provide our patients with the most comfortable dental chair in production. Our heated massage chairs reduce muscle tension and anxiety while our dentists perform your treatment. Instead of feeling like you are in a cold, clinical setting, you’ll be warm and cozy in our soft, massaging chairs.
Nitrous oxide, commonly called laughing gas, is a wonderful option for patients who suffer from dental anxiety or phobia. Nitrous oxide is an inhaled gas that produces an “anxiolytic” effect, which simply means that it reduces anxiety. It is not a sedative. Laughing gas does not put you to sleep.
It does, however, reduce your awareness of the sights, sounds, and other sensations of dental treatment. Most people claim that laughing gas makes them feel like the visit is much shorter than it really is. Because you are awake, you are perfectly able to communicate with your dentist and dental assistant about any of your needs, resting your jaw, taking a bathroom break, etc . . .
A good way to describe the effect of laughing gas is this: You are vaguely aware of what is going on. You just don’t really care.
Safety of Laughing Gas
Laughing gas is perfectly safe for patients of all ages with healthy lungs!
There is no risk for overdosing on laughing gas, and if you do begin to feel too much of the effect, it subsides almost immediately when we turn the laughing gas off.
Side Effects of Laughing Gas
Some patients experience a few side effects when they inhale laughing gas, all of which are temporary and go away once the gas is out of your system.
- Nausea and/or vomiting – We advise any patient requesting laughing gas for dental treatment to refrain from eating or drinking two hours before the appointment.
- Tingling in the Fingers and Toes – Most people do not mind this side effect, but if it bothers you, we can simply dial back the laughing gas.
- Claustrophobia – Because laughing gas uses a breathing mask over your nose, some people experience mild claustrophobia when the mask is initially placed.
- Headaches – Rarely, patients will experience headaches during or after the use of laughing gas.
Laughing gas is available for any type of dental treatment. Many of our patients request it for their routine professional teeth cleanings. Laughing gas could help you or a loved one overcome dental anxiety and receive the dental care you need.
More Questions about How We Accommodate Dental Anxiety?
Call today to set up a consultation with one of our dentists. By meeting and visiting with you, we can reassure you that we will take every step possible to make you comfortable throughout your dental care.