Posts for tag: Dental Anxiety

By Smart Family Dental Care
June 16, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Professional basketball player Lamar Odom is sometimes known as “the candyman” because of his notorious fondness for sweets. But when his sweet tooth finally caught up with him — in the form of a mouthful of decayed teeth — the six-foot-ten-inch, 230-pound hoops star admitted that he had been avoiding treatment… because he was afraid of going to the dentist!

It took two Kardashians (Khloe and Kim) and a painful toothache to finally persuade Odom to sit in the chair. Once he did, it was found that he needed a root canal, a wisdom tooth extraction, and several fillings. Yet the fretful forward sailed through the whole set of procedures in a single visit, and walked out with a big smile afterward. How did his dentists make that happen?

Put it down to the “magic” of sedation dentistry. With anxiety-relieving medications that can be delivered orally (in pill form or by gas) or intravenously (into the bloodstream), the techniques of sedation dentistry can help even the most fearful patients get the dental care they need. That’s good news for about 50 percent of the population, who admit they’re at least somewhat afraid of the dentist — and even better for the 15 percent who avoid dental care completely due to their fear.

Dentists have a number of ways to ease apprehensive patients through a dental visit. An oral anti-anxiety drug can be given in pill form about an hour beforehand. Nitrous oxide (sometimes called “laughing gas”), which is administered by a mask placed over the mouth or nose, may also be used to relieve anxiety. The calming effects of these medications help make any nervousness melt away — and in many circumstances, mild sedation is all that’s needed to ease the fear.

For lengthier or more complex procedures, intravenous (IV) sedation may be recommended. Unlike deeper (unconscious) sedation, IV sedation doesn’t cause “sleep.” Instead, it puts you in a comfortable semi-awake state, where you can still breathe on your own and respond to stimuli… but without feeling any anxiety. And when the procedure is over, you probably won’t have any memory of it at all.

IV sedation can be administered by dentists who are specially trained and equipped with the proper safety equipment. While sedation is being provided, you will be monitored at all times by a dedicated staff member; when it’s over, you will rest for a while as the medication quickly wears off. Then (as is the case with oral sedation), you’ll need another person to give you a ride home.

Does sedation dentistry really work? Lamar Odom thinks so. “I feel so much better,” he said when his 7-hour procedure was over. “I feel like I accomplished something.”

If you would like more information about sedation dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Sedation Dentistry.”

By Smart Family Dental Care
January 13, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Anxiety  

Dental AnxietyDental anxiety is an unfortunate, yet common concern for our patients. Whether you had a bad experience with a dentist in the past, or you are afraid of going to the doctor in general, you can be assured that our Norcross, GA dentist staff will take every step possible to make you comfortable during your visit.

We recommend taking the following steps in reducing your dental anxiety, which can help you have a more pleasant experience:

Talk To Us Ahead of Your Visit

While we understand that all patients may have some fear of the dentist, we understand each person has unique dental anxieties. By calling us ahead of time to explain your concerns, we are better able to work with you to achieve a comfortable appointment. This can include increasing communication about what we are doing, playing music that comforts you, or creating a hand signal that indicates when you may need a break from a cleaning or dental procedure. There are many steps we can take to help - you need only tell us in advance so we can prepare.

Take Anxiety-Relieving Measures Prior to Your Appointment

Getting a good night’s rest prior to your dentist’s appointment can help you to feel better and less anxious. You should also avoid drinking caffeinated beverages prior to coming to our Norcross, GA dentist’s office because this could make you feel more jittery and nervous. High-protein food options, such as a meal of grilled chicken, turkey sandwich or handful of nuts can create a calming effect.

Focus on Your Breathing

When you undergo a dental treatment, holding your breath can only make you feel more panicked. Practice breathing in and out through your nose prior to your appointment to slow your breath. You can also think of positive thoughts to focus on, such as a favorite place or happy memory. This can reduce your anxiety and help you feel more at ease during your appointment.

For more information on how our Norcross, GA dentist’s office can relieve your dental anxiety, please call our office at (770) 446-5700.