Studies show that up to 75% of Americans experience dental fear to some degree and that 20% avoid going to the dentist altogether. If you are afraid of dental work, we want you to know that our priority is to help you, provide a welcoming environment, and ensure you feel as comfortable as possible.
Dental anxieties and phobia occur in a wide range of ways, and specific stressors vary from person to person. Dental anxiety can be mild to moderate and exhibits in a patient when they feel concern and apprehension about an upcoming dental procedure. Dental phobia is a more severe level of anxiety and is when a patient feels an overwhelming, irrational fear of dental work, often leading them to steer clear of the dentist altogether.
Regardless of your level of anxiety, our team at Kennedy Dental is committed to making your visit as comfortable, fast and easy as possible. There are many different solutions for dental anxiety, and we are ready to help.
Here are a few well-known methods for easing anxiety in the dental office:
Telling us what you specifically fear is very helpful. We can often combat your fear by providing you with correct and up-to-date information. We will keep you informed before, during and after your procedure, so that you know what to expect, what we are doing, and why.
Some patients find it helpful to practice controlled breathing or to find distraction inside the room.
Listening to Music:
With most procedures, the use of personal headphones and music is allowed. This is a great way to keep calm and pass the time while in the chair.
Depending on the nature of your procedure, we offer a variety of different sedation methods.
If deemed necessary, a licensed specialist can work alongside Dr. Kennedy to provide anesthesia during dental treatment.
Let us know if you would like to take a short break during your treatment by just raising your hand.
The most common dental drugs used to treat anxiety are those of the “benzodiazepine” family. Drugs like Valium, Halcion, Xanax, and Ativan reduce anxiety by binding and limiting activity inside the brain’s “fear” receptors.
Am I a good candidate for benzodiazepines?
Some of these medications can affect your heart and liver. It’s important to check with your doctor and pharmacist before taking these medications. Please inform your doctor or dentist if any of the following applies: known drug allergies, pregnancy, depression / bipolar disorder/psychosis, narrow-angle glaucoma, severe respiratory disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, congestive heart failure (CHF), impaired function of the kidney or liver, and some other conditions. It is also important to let us know if you are taking other medications.
We want to make your visit as pleasant and comfortable as possible and will do everything we can to help with dental anxiety. If you are interested in learning more or want to see if this is a viable option for you, give Kennedy Dental a call today.