When anyone visits Highlands Ranch Smiles, our staff wants that person to feel comfortable from the moment he or she walks through the door until he or she leaves. Yet, we know that dental anxiety affects many patients.
Sometimes, we can tell by how they act when they get to our office. Unfortunately, we also know there are people we’ve never met because their dental anxiety keeps them from making or showing up for an appointment.
That’s why we have a crazy idea. If you haven’t had a dental cleaning in years, don’t schedule an appointment for a cleaning … yet. Instead, schedule a consultation with one of our dentists in Highlands Ranch, CO.
This will give you a chance to meet us, to ask questions about our approach to patient care, and to find out how we can help you get back in the dental chair.
Understanding Your Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is severe enough that between 5 and 8 percent of the population avoid going to the dentist. That is according to Dr. Peter Milgrom, who is the director of the Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Using the lower number, that means 1 in every 20 Americans is afraid of going to the dentist. Dr. Milgrom also estimates that as many as 1 in 5 people only visit the dentist when it is absolutely necessary.
We can help if you have a dental emergency, however, the staff at Highlands Ranch Smiles would much rather help you avoid the need for emergency dental care.
We want to help you find a way to manage your dental anxiety. We will be with you each step of the way to support you. Together, we believe we can help you just as we’ve helped other patients with dental anxiety.
One thing you can do is to research dental anxiety. The website Dental Fear Central can be a good resource. This site was created by people with dental anxiety for other patients with dental anxiety.
If you look under common fears, you may see issues that affect you. Being able to identify the source of your anxiety can help us find a way to help you.
You may have had a bad experience when you were younger. You may be worried about pain or gagging, or maybe you have a fear of a particular piece of dental equipment. All of those are understandable.
But our dentists in Highlands Ranch, CO, can help. Start by calling 720-644-8186 to schedule a consultation.
Sedation Dentistry For Dental Anxiety
One way to cope with dental anxiety is through dental sedation. At Highlands Ranch Smiles, we offer two kinds of sedation dentistry — nitrous oxide and oral sedation. We will explain the differences in a moment.
Both types of sedation offer similar benefits for you, the patient:
▪︎ You won’t feel any pain.
▪︎ You won’t gag.
▪︎ You will stay calm and comfortable.
▪︎ You won’t remember much of your treatment if you remember any of it.
Sedation helps you stay relaxed, and that makes it easier for you to receive the dental care that you need. That could be a dental cleaning or another procedure.
You may know nitrous oxide by another name, laughing gas. To receive nitrous oxide, all you have to do is breathe.
Using a mask, you will inhale the gas. Within minutes, you will feel its calming effects. You will remain that way until the gas is turned off and the mask is removed at the end of your visit.
As you exhale the gas, you will return to feeling like your normal self.
Oral sedation is stronger, and its effects last longer. You will take medication before your appointment, which is why someone else should drive you to and from our office.
By the time you are in the dentist chair, you will be at ease. The effects can last for a few hours, so you will want to rest after your family member or friend takes you home.
Comfort Options For Dental Anxiety
For patients with mild anxiety, you may not need dental sedation. Our other comfort options may be enough for you to settle into a chair.
A pillow and blanket could help you feel cozy. Watching television or listening to music could provide a distraction to keep your mind off your dental care. A selection of refreshments could be just what you need to relax.
To learn more about our dentist office in Highlands Ranch, CO, and about our approach to dental care, just get in touch with us. Again your can reach us by filling out our online form or by calling 720-644-8186.