Not many people enjoy going to a dentist, even for a simple cleaning, let alone a periodontist for advanced procedures. That’s normal. But some have a real fear of dental procedures, often causing extreme stress and anxiety before their appointment.

If you have a dental visit scheduled and are highly nervous, you may be tempted to cancel the appointment. But you don’t have to.

We have ways you can cope with dental anxiety on your own and with the help of a sedation specialist. At Arcadia Perio, our team offers dental sedation and general anesthesia to help you cope with your fears.

Our periodontal surgeons, Dr. J. Paul Fuentes and Dr. Andrew Peterson, understand your fears about dental procedures. They treat every patient with respect and understanding and provide sedation and anesthesia to make the appointment seamless.

What causes dental anxiety?

If you need treatment for a dental problem, delaying the procedure risks your oral health. Still, it can be challenging to get to a specialist when you’re incredibly nervous or scared about the appointment.

Many of our patients struggle with dental anxiety. If you’re one of them, you may recognize some of these reasons for dental anxiety:

  • Fear of needles or drilling
  • A previous traumatic experience
  • Discomfort with the invasion of space
  • Fear of anesthesia not working
  • Embarrassment about dental health
  • Issues with trust
  • Fear of pain

People also have dental anxiety because of general anxiety disorder, fear of losing control, and being scared of the side effects of anesthesia or novocaine.

The key point here is that you’re not alone when it comes to dental anxiety. At Arcadia Perio, we specialize in periodontics, dental implants, and laser dentistry, and we’re here to help you overcome your fear.

Coping options for dental anxiety

Having some fear of a dental appointment is normal, especially when you need an advanced procedure. Some of the ways we help you deal with overwhelming dental anxiety include:

  • Talking to us about your fears and anxiety
  • Using guided imagery for relaxation
  • Bringing headphones with your favorite music
  • Meditating
  • Practicing deep breathing
  • Discussing distraction options with our team

Bringing a support person to your appointment also may help you to cope with dental anxiety. A friend or family member who understands your fears and can be supportive may ease your dental anxiety.

More severe cases of dental anxiety may require medications before your appointment. We can prescribe anti-anxiety medications that you take before coming in that allow you to feel at ease during the appointment or procedure.

Do I need sedation or anesthesia?

We want you to feel at ease and comfortable during your appointment, which is why we offer sedation dentistry. For some people, lifestyle changes and medication aren’t enough to ease dental anxiety.

If you’re still living with an intense fear of your upcoming appointment, we offer three main types of sedation dentistry, including:

IV sedation

IV sedation is a form of anesthesia we provide to ensure you’re comfortable during the appointment. With IV sedation, you’re conscious but relaxed and may not remember much of the procedure.

You must have someone give you a ride home, and you might feel groggy for the rest of the day. IV sedation is an excellent option if you’re incredibly nervous about your appointment.

Nitrous oxide

We deliver nitrous oxide through a mask that fits over your nose. The gas makes you feel at ease and relaxed during your procedure. We also call nitrous oxide “laughing gas” because it often causes giggles and a feeling of euphoria.

Nitrous oxide wears off quickly after we remove the mask, so it’s a good option if you need to return to your normal activities after the appointment.

Oral sedation

Oral sedation is another option we offer to help ease any fears before your procedure or appointment. We prescribe an oral medication that you take right before your appointment to calm you and make you feel comfortable during the procedure.

We carefully evaluate your concerns and needs to determine the best way to make you comfortable during your appointment.

Call our Arcadia, California, office today at 626-600-2009 to inquire about sedation dentistry or request a consultation through this website.

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