Patients become anxious about going to the dentist for different reasons. This may include fear of receiving local anesthetic or concerns about the effectiveness of the anesthesia. Negative past experiences also may play a large role in a patient’s anxiety, as well as financial concerns.
What can I do to relieve dental anxiety?
In general, avoid caffeine before a dental appointment to make you less anxious. Eating high-protein foods also produces a calming effect, unlike sugary foods. During the procedure, focus on breathing regularly and slowly. When they are nervous, some people tend to hold their breath, which decreases oxygen levels and further increases feelings of anxiety. We always recommend that our patients bring their favorite music to listen to during procedures.
Knowledge is the greatest defense against anxiety. If you have specific fears, talk to Dr. Marinic about them. Dr. Marinic can go a long way to dispel any negative or frightening images you may have.
Are there medications that can help me relax?
Sedation dentistry involves the use of medications to allow you to relax and feel sleepy during a dental visit or procedure. However, sedation is not pain medication, so you may still require local anesthesia, depending upon the treatment.
There are a variety of sedation dentistry methods. The most common types are inhaled sedation, which involves breathing in a mixture of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen, and oral sedatives, which are medications taken by mouth. Another type of dental sedation is intravenous (IV) sedation, which is provided by dentists with specialized training in IV sedation.
Sedation is safe when administered by dentists who are trained in its use. However, as with any medication, sedation involves a certain amount of risk. It is important to talk to your dentist about these risks.
What should I do if I am seeing a new dentist?
If you are seeing Dr. Marinic for the first time, schedule an appointment for a visit. This initial visit doesn’t require a cleaning or treatment, just conversation and a tour of the office. Take the opportunity to ask Dr. Marinic and his team questions and address your concerns. You’ll find that a dentist who takes the time to speak with you about your anxiety will understand when it comes to addressing your other concerns.