Does fear of painful dental procedures keep you from seeing the dentist? Anxiety about seeing the dentist prevents more than half of U.S. adults from getting regular check-ups. But with new advancements in painless dental technology and sedation dentistry, there's no longer any need to be afraid of seeing your dentist. Learn how to make your next trip to the dentist pain-free.
Find the Right Local Dentist for You
In the same manner that you would select a hair stylist or personal trainer who really understands your needs, you should do the same with finding the right dentist for you. Find a dental professional who listens, understands, and sympathizes with your concerns. Recognizing that fear of seeing the dentist is a very real concern preventing many patients from getting proper oral care, many more dentists are now trained to deal with client communication and dental anxiety. Search online for a local dentist who offers sedation or gentle dentistry, and call to speak with the receptionist. Discuss with him or her your concerns and learn how their dental office manages client pain. Don't be afraid to ask the receptionist questions so you get a better understanding of each dental practice, increasing the likelihood of finding the right dentist for your particular needs.
Dentist-Patient Communication is Key
Be upfront with your dentist about your fears or concerns about pain. There are often painless methods they can use, or medications they can prescribe, to help ease any potential pain or anxiety. Also, talk to your dentist beforehand about a signal you can use during a procedure to indicate that you need a break, such as raising your hand. Be sure to always tell the dentist if you self-medicated for the pain before your appointment. Self-medicating is not recommended as a patient risks serious complications using painkillers or alcohol prior to dentist visits. Your comfort and outcome will increase dramatically with good dentist-patient communication.
New Dental Technologies Increase Patient Comfort
Don't let experiences from your childhood dictate your feelings about visiting the dentist. With modern dental techniques, you'd be surprised how much less painful and invasive many of the procedures are today. Many dental procedures can be now done comfortably without anesthesia and new technology in dentistry has improved client comfort dramatically. Modern laser technology, for example, painlessly treats a large percentage of shallow cavities.
Sedation Dentistry Provides Painless Dental Treatments
Oral sedation is a method used by trained dentists to provide a relaxing and pain-free experience for patients who have anxiety or are particularly fearful of pain. Sedative drugs, including tranquilizers, depressants, sleeping pills or anxiolytics, are used to induce sedation. Because it takes several hours for the medication to fully wear off, this can also allow for multiple procedures to be done in one sitting - saving you time and extra dental appointments. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) may be used, which has a shorter recovery time - allowing you to drive yourself home after your appointment.