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Managing your fear about going to the dentist

Managing your fear about going to the dentist

dental phobia fear

The dreaded Dentist. As many as 75% of Americans have a fear of the Dentist. Whether you had a bad experience as a child or as an adult. It is a memory or feeling that has had a strong impact in keeping you from returning. What we haven’t realized is that there have been so many changes, improvements and new technology that have been developed in the dental field in the past years.

The development of Digital X-rays has made a once very uncomfortable experience into a much more tolerable one, and not to mention it has also reduced the amount of radiation exposure down by 80%.

Now if your fear is related to the noises around you (the drill or sound of the suctions) you can always bring headphones and listen to your favorite tunes during the procedure. This will help drown out the noises and make it a much more pleasant experience.

If your fear is a much more serious one, Sedation Dentistry may be your best option. The most common form of sedation used would be what is known as “Laughing Gas” (Nitrous Oxide). A combination of nitrous and oxygen is inhaled through a mask that’s placed over your nose. This helps the patient relax. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.

There is also a much stronger form of sedation known as Oral Sedation. A pill similar to Valium is taken about an hour before the procedure. This puts the patient in a “dream- like” state. The pill will make you drowsy, although you’ll still be awake. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure. They can usually be awakened with a gentle shake. You are required to have someone drive you to and from the office with this form of Sedation.

So remember to always make your dentist aware of your dental fears/concerns in order to be given the best options and dental care. With Chino Hills dentist, Dr. Changela, we are here to provide a gentle and painless experience that will make you look forward to returning.