Dental fillings have evolved over the years. Now, you can choose between silver (dental amalgams) and tooth-colored (composite resin) fillings. Before you make a selection, it is critical to understand the differences between the two. Then you can ask the dentist for the filling material that suits your needs.Silver fillings are made from various metals,…
How General Dentists Help With Easing Dental Anxiety
General dentists know that dealing with dental anxiety can be draining and embarrassing. Thankfully, they have ways to help you overcome your fears and concerns, so you do not have to keep putting off your dental visits.
What is the cause of dental anxiety?
There is typically not just one thing that can cause you to experience this unfortunate condition. Better Health shines a light on the multiple factors that might cause you to develop dental anxiety:
- Being the victim of a traumatic dental or other healthcare procedure or visit
- Having previous trauma to the head and neck
- Being a victim of other traumatic experiences, including abuse
- Having mental health conditions like generalized anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Having the view that the mouth is a personal area and accessing the mouth is an invasion of personal space
- Fearing the loss of control
- Having trust issues
- Having anxiety associated with other conditions, such as agoraphobia (the fear of being in situations where you feel you cannot escape), claustrophobia (the fear of closed spaces) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (a symptom of which is an obsession around cleanliness)
Fear of pain
According to WebMD, the pain that can come with dental visits and procedures is one of the main reasons that people will avoid going to the dentist. Your general dentist will be able to sit down and talk with you about your anxiety in order to come up with a care plan that fits your psychological and oral needs.
Dental pain management techniques
Depending on the procedure, you and your dentist may decide that you would benefit from a form of anesthesia.
Below is a list by WebMD of types of anesthesia that may help control your pain and anxiety:
- Topical anesthetics are applied with a swab and used to numb the area in the mouth or gums where your dental work will be done
- Nitrous oxide is a gas that helps patients feel more relaxed; it is one of the most common forms of sedation
- Intravenous sedation is a form of pain and anxiety control injected into the vein of the patient, usually reserved for extensive dental procedures; the patient remains awake but very relaxed
- General anesthesia is used when the other options are not enough to help ease the patient's anxiety or pain; this is commonly referred to as "being put to sleep"
It is important to talk with your general dentist about your anxiety condition, triggers and concerns. Once you come to an understanding of the type of care you will benefit from, you and your dentist can choose from a number of anti-anxiety techniques, such as distraction strategies, relaxation techniques, guided imagery, deep breathing or progressive relaxation, just to name a few.
You do not have to be a victim of dental anxiety anymore. Talk with your general dentist, and ask them if they are licensed to help treat your condition through mind and body techniques, including anesthesia techniques. Contact us today if you are ready to conquer your fears and get the smile of your dreams.
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