Expert opinions vary, but a conservative estimate is that at least 1 in 10 people avoids going to the dentist due to dental anxiety.
We also know that our team at 1st In Smiles can help you learn to manage your anxiety so you can keep your mouth as healthy as possible. We have been helping anxious patients at our dentist office in Plano, TX, for years.
We are confident that we can help you, too, with our dental sedation and our comfort options.
Understanding Dental Anxiety
Dr. Rick Barfield and our staff want you to know that feeling anxious is normal. Everyone feels anxious about something — whether it’s riding a roller coaster, speaking in public, or coming to the dentist.
It’s also important to understand that people experience dental anxiety for a variety of reasons. Some people feel anxious about regular cleanings and examinations. Other people become anxious upon learning that they need a root canal treatment or a more complicated procedure.
Your dental anxiety could be based on a fear that you may gag during your treatment or that the treatment will be painful. You could be anxious about a particular piece of dental equipment.
Or maybe you just had a bad experience with a dentist when you were younger. We are certainly sorry that happened, but we want to work with you to help you return to the dentist’s chair.
At 1st In Smiles, we have helped people who experience dental anxiety for practically any reason you can imagine. We would like to help you, too.
Before you make an appointment for a cleaning and examination, talk to Dr. Barfield about the reasons you feel anxious. You probably aren’t going to overcome your dental anxiety in a single visit to the dentist. However, Dr. Barfield and our staff will do everything that we can to make each visit a little easier to handle.
Dental Anxiety and Sedation
Sedation dentistry has been around in one shape or form for at least 170 years. In that time, dentists have learned a lot about how to administer dental sedation effectively for our patients.
Our sedation options offer some clear benefits for anyone with anxiety. These include:
- Preventing you from feeling any pain
- Preventing you from gagging
- Putting you in a calm, relaxed state
- Keeping you from remembering specifics of your dental treatment
We offer three forms of dental sedation. The right option for you may depend on the severity of your dental anxiety and the specific treatment you are scheduled to receive.
- Nitrous oxide is the fastest-acting form of dental sedation. All you have to do is inhale the gas, and you will feel its effects within minutes. You will continue breathing it until your procedure is finished.
We turn off the gas when we are done. By breathing normally, you will exhale any remaining gas and go back to feeling like your normally would.
- Oral sedation is stronger. We may recommend this option for someone with more severe anxiety. You will take a dose of medication prior to your appointment. By the time you are in the chair, you may not be aware of what is happening.
The effects of oral sedation can last for hours at a time, so you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment if you receive this form of dental sedation.
- The strongest sedation option we offer at 1st in Smiles is IV sedation. This is not available at every dental office. It can only be administered individuals who have completed a course and clinical experience with this procedure.
We typically use this for longer and more complicated procedures. As with oral sedation, the effects of IV sedation can last for hours. You must make arrangements for someone else to take you home with this option.
Comfort Options for Dental Anxiety
Not all patients want to be sedation, which is why we offer comfort options as well.
Watching television or listening to music can provide a distraction from the dental care that you are receiving.
You can even schedule longer appointments. This way you can ask to take a break whenever you would like. This can help your break up your treatment into more manageable pieces.
And we offer a lecture-free dental office. Dr. Barfield knows this is a reason some patients avoid the dentist. We are not here to criticize you. We are here to help you improve and maintain your oral health.
Everyone at 1st In Smiles is on your side.
Let Our Team Help You
To get the dental care that you need, you need to know that you have the support of your dentist office. That’s exactly what you will find at 1st In Smiles.