Do you find yourself making excuses to skip your next dental appointment? Have you pushed off going to the dentist for years, even though you may be experiencing severe pain in your mouth? If the thought of sitting in the dentist’s chair causes you severe stress and anxiety, you are not alone. Each year, millions of Americans avoid seeing a dental professional because they struggle with severe dental anxiety or phobia. However, skipping out on regular dental visits can have an adverse impact on one’s oral health. If you want to learn more about the causes of dental anxiety and phobia and how to better cope, read what a dentist in Plano has to say below.
What is Dental Anxiety and Phobia?
Experiencing dental anxiety or phobia is not uncommon. In fact, according to research reviewed by faculty at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, 9% to 15% of Americans avoid visiting the dentist because of anxiety and fear – that is between 30 million and 40 million people!
Individuals with dental anxiety may feel uneasy and stressed when it’s time for their dental appointment. For those with dental phobia, meanwhile, the thought of sitting in the dentist’s chair leaves them stricken with an intense sense of dread. Some signs of dental anxiety or phobia include:
- Trouble sleeping the night before your next dental appointment
- Feeling nervous while sitting in the waiting room at the dentist’s office
- Feeling like crying or feeling physically ill at the very thought of visiting the dentist
- Feeling a sense of panic or having difficulty breathing when objects are placed in your mouth during a dental exam
Skipping visits to the dentist can increase the risk of developing serious oral health problems. Finding a way to feel comfortable during dental procedures is critical to keeping your smile healthy and whole.
How Sedation Dentistry Can Help Ease Your Anxiety
For patients struggling with dental anxiety or phobia, sedation dentistry can offer a way of easing the stress of visiting the dentist. One of the most common methods of sedation dentistry is inhalation sedation using nitrous oxide – more commonly known as “laughing gas”. Contrary to its name, nitrous oxide does not, in fact, provoke uncontrollable giggling, but rather causes a pleasant feeling of euphoria to spread through the body that reduces anxieties and worries.
Administered through a mask that fits comfortably over the nose, nitrous oxide is odorless, colorless and tasteless. The mild gas does not limit consciousness, so patients are still able to move and respond to the dentist throughout the dental procedure. In addition, nitrous oxide also wears off swiftly, allowing patients to leave the office just minutes after the procedure is complete feeling normal and alert.
Nitrous oxide has been used for over 100 years to help patients feel relaxed and comfortable during dental procedures. To learn more about how inhalation sedation can help make visiting the dentist a less stressful experience, talk to a Plano dentist today.
About the Practice
The team at Antoon Family Dental knows quality dentistry is not just about utilizing the latest technology, but forming lasting relationships with patients built on trust, respect and open communication. They understand that some individuals experience extreme dental anxiety or phobia, which is why they offer nitrous oxide sedation to help put patients at ease during visits. If you want to learn more about Antoon Family Dental, visit their website today or call the office at 972-267-5000.