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How Can I Calm My Nerves Before Going to the Dentist?

Dental phobia is a true barrier to many people, preventing them from getting the dental care they need.  For some the fear and/or anxiety is so bad that they prefer to suffer with pain and unattractive smiles over seeing a dentist to address their concerns.  At Designer Smiles, we understand this barrier and work with all of our patients to help them overcome it.  We also have compassion for our patients who need help calming their nerves before they see us.  Here are the most important ways you can calm your nerves before a dental visit.

Build a Trusting Relationship with Your Dentist

We believe that the most important way to calm your nerves about your dentist is to truly trust your dentist.  Do you believe that your dentist will treat you the way she treats her family members?  That is our goal at Designer Smiles.

We know that relationship building takes time, and we do not expect this trust to magically appear as soon as you walk through our doors.  We aim for long-term relationships with our patients, and so we are willing to invest the time necessary to build that trusting relationship.  We commit to building trust with each patient by delivering consistently excellent dental care for you at every visit.  We do what we say we will do.

Dr. Ann is a straight shooter, so she tells you exactly what dental problems you have and the available options to fix them.  She speaks candidly with every patient without any sugarcoating or judging.  You can trust what she tells you.

Do Your Research

One thing that may give you confidence in these statements we make about our office is reading our online reviews.  You will read first person accounts of great experiences that many of our patients have had at Designer Smiles.  On our website, you can watch video testimonials of patients who have undergone extensive treatment with Dr. Ann.  Her commitment to excellence shines through in these reviews and testimonials.

You will also see reviews from patients who were scared to go to the dentist before finding Designer Smiles.  Now, they say they will never go anywhere else.  We have patients who drive long distances because they want to see the dentist they trust.

Speak with Your Medical Doctor about Anti-Anxiety Medications

Some patients suffer from dental anxiety so severe that they cannot even walk into a dental office without some form of relief.  Unfortunately, if we have not seen you as a patient yet, it is not legal for us to write a prescription for medication for you.  That means we cannot be the ones to help get you to your first appointment.

If your dental fear keeps you from making that first appointment with us, you will need to speak to your medical doctor about help for your anxiety.  The doctor will prescribe anti-anxiety medication as needed to get you into our office.  Then once you are our patient, we can take it from there.

Speak with Your Dentist about Sedation Options

Once you are in our office, Dr. Ann can talk to you about our sedation options.  Because we know that even patients who trust us completely still may require a little help, we offer a wide range of ways to help them get through a dental visit.

Laughing Gas

Laughing gas, officially called nitrous oxide, is not technically a sedative.  It falls under the category of anxiolytic, which means it removes anxiety.  It is an inhaled medication that provides a feeling of relaxation without putting you to sleep.  Patients breathing laughing gas are still awake and aware of what is going on; they simply don’t care because they are so relaxed.

Laughing gas is safe for both adults and children, and many of our youngest patients have undergone extensive treatment with the help of laughing gas.  One of the advantages of laughing gas is that there is no lingering effect. Once your dental treatment is complete, you breathe oxygen for a few minutes, and the effects of nitrous oxide are quickly eliminated.

Patients who use laughing gas often state that the appointment seemed much shorter than it actually was.  They are able to return to work or pick children up from school because the medication does not stay in your system.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation, or enteral sedation, involves the use of oral medications to cause relaxation and, usually, sleep.  The dentist administers a sedative medication in the office and allows time for it to begin working.  We constantly monitor your vital signs during the sedation and perform the dental treatment while the patient is largely unaware.

Oral sedation typically causes a slight amnesia effect, in that even when patients are awake, they rarely remember the visit.  There is no guarantee for results with oral sedation as every human body can metabolize the drugs differently.  So this option may not put everyone to sleep for their entire appointment lengths.

IV Sedation

For our most fearful patients, IV sedation will always be the best option.  Because the medication goes directly into the bloodstream, we have complete control over how sedated a patient is during his or her treatment.

Dr. Ann went through a rigorous training and certification process in order to provide this service to our patients.  She is one of the few general dentists who performs IV sedation for dental treatment.  If you need to be sure of the knowledge that you will be completely asleep throughout your entire dental procedure, you need IV sedation.  Just knowing that they will have no sensation or memory of their dental appointment is the boost many patients need to take care of long-neglected treatment.

More Questions about Nervous Dental Patients?

Call Designer Smiles today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ann.  Our compassionate team members will help you get the first foot in the door.  We consider it a privilege to be entrusted with your care.