Archived Story

Appointments to see a dentist are nothing to worry about for anyone

Published 5:59am Saturday, August 18, 2012

We hear it everyday from patients. “I have always dreaded going to the dentist.”

Honestly, it’s completely normal to be apprehensive at the dental office. It is a strange place; we get it.

There are odd smells and sounds, and you have to trust people you barely know inside your personal space.

All these things leave you feeling well outside of your comfort zone.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are several ways to decrease those anxious feelings you have about dental treatment.

The easiest way is to simply become a regular patient. It isn’t complicated; just familiarize yourself and your family with the dental office.

High anxiety patients tend to only come to the dentist when they have a dental emergency.

At that point, they are already uncomfortable and in a poor state of mind.

Instead, make the regularly scheduled cleanings a part of your family’s life.

It gives you an opportunity to ease into a relationship with the dentist and staff with a non-stressful appointment.

As a big incentive, having regular scheduled check-ups means a lot less of those dental emergencies.

We understand it takes a few visits to build a trustful relationship with the dentist.

Luckily, that isn’t the only way we can help tame your anxiety.

Most patients are somewhat familiar with nitrous oxide or laughing gas.

It is a great little bit of magic that makes the dentist office a much happier place.

Unfortunately, a lot of movies have misportrayed the effects of nitrous oxide.

It doesn’t put you to sleep, it doesn’t paralyze you, and unlike what you’ve seen on YouTube, the effects wear off within about five minutes.

That means if your kid is acting goofy on the way home from the dentist, he is simply acting goofy; it’s not the dentist’s magic gas.

What nitrous oxide does well is decrease your overall anxiety.

It gives you an overall sense of well-being, happiness and indifference.

For the anxious dental patient, a few minutes of nitrous oxide may completely change their whole perspective of the dentist office.

Nitrous oxide is safe for just about any healthy, non-pregnant person who doesn’t have glaucoma.

As I mentioned, it wears off as soon as it’s exhaled. The most common side effect is having a great dental experience.

Finally, for high anxiety patients, patients that need all their dental treatment completed in one visit or patients with more involved treatment, we can offer them the option of being sedated.

Sedation dentistry is really simple and easy for the patient.

In our practice we find that sedated patients always have great experiences.

Another great thing about it is that most of our patients that start out requiring sedation find the dentist office a lot less scary for their follow-up visits.

Christopher D. Borden, D.M.D., Borden Dental



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