If you have dental problems and you have delayed seeking the care that you know you need, you are not alone. Recent estimates are that up to 15% of people in the United States make that same decision due to fear and anxiety associated with seeing the dentist. Therefore, since delaying care only allows the dental problems and pain to worsen, it is important to be aware of some unique treatment options. The following information should make it easier and less stressful to access the dental services that you need.
Ask About Anti-anxiety Medications Before Coming
If you experience anxiety or fear before you even get to the dental office and you have been unable to seek dental care for some time because of it, you may not actually have an existing relationship with a dentist. In that case, you could benefit from discussing your situation with your primary physician, as it may be possible to receive a dose or two of anti-anxiety medication so that you can make it to the dental office.
Once you are able to establish a relationship with a new dentist, you can discuss the possibility of being prescribed similar medications in the future. By doing so, you can expect to continue to access the care that you need to improve or maintain a healthy smile.
Ask About More All-encompassing Options for Anxiety
Although you are undoubtedly aware of common options in the dental office like twilight sleep and Novocaine, you may be surprised to know that the option of general anesthesia for dental care also exists. It is not available from every dentist, as it does present with higher risks, as general anesthesia usually does.
General anesthesia can be provided in the dental office by an oral surgeon with at least three months of anesthesia training in a hospital setting. Alternatively, you would need to check into a hospital and consent to be monitored by a variety of staff, including an anesthesiologist. General anesthesia makes you completely unconscious during the procedures that you need. It is often associated with major dental work such as reconstructive work or TMJ complications, but patients with intense emotional responses to the dental care they need can also benefit.
In conclusion, dental fear and anxiety are common and your dentist can provide you with a number of gentle ways to treat those challenges. If you have been putting off getting the care you need due to the severity of your emotional responses, it is a good idea to be aware of the information listed above. Gentle dentistry is available and medications can help you get it.