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Overcoming Fear of the Dentist & Dental Anxiety

Dentist fear, dental anxiety, and dentophobia are extremely common amongst patients in Monroe, NY and Orange County area. It has been estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety and fear. That is approximately about 30 million to 40 million people that put off routine dental care and check-ups for years or even decades. 

Dr. Jacquie Smiles and her team of licensed and trained orthodontists specialize in sedation dentistry for children, teens, and adults in Monroe, NY that may help reduce dental anxiety, fear, and dentophobia.

Dr. Jacquie Smiles and her team of licensed and trained dental professionals.

To learn more about sedation dentistry, new dental technology or how to reduce your dental anxiety, please call us at 845-782-4288 or schedule an appointment with our Monroe dentist office today. We are conveniently located near  70 Gilbert Street, Suite 202, Monroe, NY 10950.

We accept insurance, financing, HSA and FSA. 

How dental anxiety or phobia can affect your oral health

People with dental phobia have a higher risk of gum disease and early tooth loss due to fear of visiting the dentist for check-ups, cleaning and other oral treatments. Discolored or damaged teeth can make people feel uncomfortable, self-conscious and insecure. They may smile less or keep their mouths closed when speaking. 

Tips for overcoming dental fear and dentophobia

It’s common for patients to feel dental anxiety or uneasiness before or during their dental appointments. Here are some tips to help you overcome your fear of the dentist:

  • Talk with your dentist and/or dental hygienist about your dental anxiety so they can explain and go over the procedure process so you know what to expect. Dr. Jacquie Smiles and her team of dental professionals are here to make your experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
  • Wear headphones during your appointment to help prevent and block any noise and equipment sounds. Be sure to discuss this with your dentist or dental hygienist first prior to your appointment.
  • Request a numbing agent. Your dental hygienist and dentist can often apply a numbing gel or use a local anesthesia to minimize pain.
  •  Ask for anti-anxiety medication. Some dental practices offer patients anti-anxiety medication to help reduce dental anxiety during the appointment. 
  •  Bring a friend or a family member to your appointment to help provide comfort and reduce dental anxiety.

Sedation Dentistry Can Reduce Your Dental Anxiety

Dr. Jacquie Smiles offers sedation dentistry during a dental procedure to assist her patients in Monroe, NY in achieving a relaxed and comfortable state during your appointment. Numbing agents and shots cover that part of the procedure. With certain types of sedation, you may not even remember receiving the procedure, even though you’re awake for it.

Oral Sedatives

These are pills taken by mouth approximately 30 minutes to an hour prior to a procedure.  In higher doses, they not only induce a calming effect, but may also cause drowsiness, but in lower doses, they simply relieve anxious feelings.  Depending on your case, you may take one pill the night before, and one pill an hour before you have the procedure, or otherwise as directed by your dentist or doctor. This type of sedation leaves you awake for the procedure but significantly relaxes you. Monroe patients who have higher levels of anxiety often benefit from this type of dentistry.

Intravenous Conscious Sedation

IV sedation administers anti-anxiety medication directly into the bloodstream through a vein.  Any patient receiving this form of sedation will remain conscious throughout the procedure, but will likely not be able to recall the experience.  A local anesthetic will also be required, as IV sedation doesn’t provide relief from pain.

Inhalation Sedation

Nitrous Oxide is used in this method, which has been commonly referred to as “laughing gas.” It is colorless and odorless and is easily administered by inhaling the gas.   With this method, the dentist is in constant control of the depth of sedation a patient experiences.  The gas is easily eliminated from the body and only takes approximately 3 to 5 minutes to do so.

General Anesthesia

This method is rarely used for dental treatment but is utilized when there are no other means of relieving pain and anxiety.  Unlike the above-mentioned methods, general anesthesia causes the patient to lose consciousness.  When utilizing this treatment, a patient is required to be accompanied by a companion, as they will not be able to travel alone upon completion of the procedure.

Schedule your consultation 

Dental sedation is a common way people conquer anxiety or pain during visits to the dentist. Don’t put off your next visit because of anxiety; ask your dentist and schedule your next procedure with dental sedation. Contact us today or call us at (845) 782-4288 to learn more about sedation dentistry. Our office located near 70 Gilbert Street, Suite 202 Monroe, NY 10950.