Dental anxiety refers to any level of fear that can make a person avoid seeing the dentist, even for routine treatments like cleanings. Studies show millions of people in the U.S. put off having important preventative and restorative care because they’re afraid to see their dentist and to have treatment. Dental anxiety can occur for different reasons. Some people are afraid of needles or the sounds and smells of a dentist office may trigger their anxiety. Other people are unable to be numbed adequately with local anesthetics so some treatments can be painful. Usually, dental anxiety develops in patients who have had bad experiences with a dentist in the past, including a painful experience, failed treatment or a dentist who was not compassionate about their anxiety.
The team at Texas Dental is skilled in helping patients with dental anxiety overcome their worries with state-of-the-art pain management and relaxation techniques including sedation dentistry using pills, nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) and IV sedation. By “matching” a patient and procedure with the right type of sedation, we can help patients relax and stay calm throughout their procedure, and some types of sedation can cause a temporary amnesia so patients will remember little or nothing of their procedure. Most importantly, we use a compassionate approach that recognizes the very real fear anxious patients feel, without becoming impatient or making them feel “silly.” We strive to make our environment and the entire experience as relaxing and calming as possible so every patient can get the care that’s needed to enjoy better health and prevent serious issues like decay, pain and tooth loss.
Yes, our dentists have special training in the use of sedation for patients of all ages. Sedation can be especially helpful when children need extensive treatment and to help prevent the onset of anxiety that can develop in children who need several fillings, deep cleaning or who are afraid of needles. The judicious use of sedation can prevent children from developing a fear of the dentist so they can continue to get regular oral health care that can provide them with a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.