Dental anxiety, also known as dental phobia, is a common condition characterized by severe fear or anxiety about dental procedures. This fear can be debilitating and may prevent individuals from seeking essential dental care. Anxiety is a normal human emotion, but when it becomes excessive and interferes with daily life, it can be classified as an anxiety disorder. Dental phobia, or the excessive fear of dental procedures, is a specific anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of dental phobia often include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
Healthy Ways to Manage Anxiety Before Dental Implant Treatment
There are several healthy ways to deal with dental anxiety. Make sure to speak with your healthcare provider before trying some of these techniques.
To ease your fears or calm your nerves, you may try any of the following:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Desensitization therapy
- Medication (such as anti-anxiety medication)
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Yoga or meditation
- Distraction techniques (such as listening to music or watching a movie during the procedure)
- Good communication with your dentist
- Positive visualization
- Self-care practices such as exercise and getting enough sleep
If you’re feeling anxious about your upcoming dental implant procedure, speak with your dentist. They may recommend some techniques to help you feel calm on the day of your appointment.
Dental Sedation Options
For some patients, dental sedation may be the best option for managing anxiety. There are various sedation options available, including:
- Nitrous Oxide: A type of gas inhaled through a mask that will provide a feeling of euphoria and relaxation. Nitrous oxide is considered a mild form of sedation, and you can drive yourself home after the procedure.
- Oral Sedation: This involves taking a pill before the procedure, which will make you feel relaxed and drowsy, but still able to respond to verbal commands.
- IV (Intravenous) Sedation: This is administered through a vein and will make you feel very relaxed and sleepy. You’ll still be able to respond to verbal commands, but you’ll need someone to drive you home after the procedure.
We encourage you to discuss your options with your dentist, as they’ll advise you on the best sedation method for you based on your level of anxiety and the complexity of the procedure. They’ll also explain the risks and benefits of each method, and answer any questions you may have.
Keep in mind that not every dentist offers each kind of dental sedation.
Don’t Avoid Dental Treatment
Remember, avoiding dental treatment because of anxiety can lead to more serious dental problems in the future. When dental problems go untreated, they can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. Additionally, delaying treatment can make the necessary procedures more complicated and costly. If you have a lost tooth, failure to replace it can result in further complications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, dental phobia can be treated with various methods, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, desensitization therapy, and medication.
Yes, it’s safe to get a dental implant even if you suffer from anxiety. Your dentist will work with you to ensure your comfort and safety throughout the procedure and can provide options such as sedation to help alleviate anxiety.
You can search online for dental practices in your area that offer sedation dentistry or specialize in treating anxious patients. You can also read reviews and ask for recommendations from friends or family members who have undergone dental implant surgery or other procedures with sedation.
Don’t Let Anxiety Prevent You from Treatment
Avoiding dental treatment often results in further problems. If you need dental implants but are anxious about treatment, talk to your dentist. Our team of Farmington dentists works with each patient, ensuring they have the tools they need to feel calm and relaxed ahead of their procedure.
If you live in the Farmington, NM, area and are looking for a team of knowledgeable and experienced dentists to place your dental implants, contact us today.