Too nervous to come to the dentist? You’re not alone, and we can help.
Posted: January 18, 2016
Last Modified: March 19, 2021
Dental procrastination comes with many reasons, but if it is because one is just nervous, we have a few solutions that may help. If you find yourself just too nervous to come to the dentist, one of these may be the answer:
1) nitrous oxide sedation (laughing gas): yes, it really does work! – this form of sedation is ideal for mildly anxious patients who just need something to take the edge off of appointments. Laughing gas is not intended to put one to sleep, but rather just give a sense of relaxation. Commonly described as a “two-martini-effect”, it really does produce an alcohol-like sensation. (Better, there is no hangover effect and the patient is allowed to drive home alone). It is also ideal for children, and our experience has been that for ages as low as four, all sorts of procedures can be done uneventfully without any heavier sedation (extractions included!) This provides a favourable experience for children so their first dental appointments are favourable. Said one child (albeit not every one will say this): “That was the best day of my life!”
Laughing gas is also good for patients who gag easily, as it suppresses gagging as well. It is odourless, and easily titrated to effect so it is almost always well tolerated. It is also easily reversible, so anybody feeling a bit too sedated can be brought back to a comfortable level quickly. Recovery is a mere five minutes!
2) Oral sedation + laughing gas: this “twilight zone”-type of sedation is a deeper form of sedation that is more than adequate for most procedures in most anxious patients. A combination of oral sedative with laughing gas given together will produce an effect greater than one would expect looking at the effects of the drugs separately. Called a “synergistic effect”, it is more commonly understood as a “1+1=3” type effect. When sedated, people are quite unaware of anything happening, but yet will weirdly still respond to verbal instructions. On top of that, there is the added benefit of amnesia.
3) Music: still too nervous to come to the dentist? Some people just hate the sound of metal instruments scraping against their teeth. Solution: noise-cancelling headphones for your use in our office. Hook them up to your device and listen to your own music, or take advantage of our FREE WI-FI and stream music to your heart’s content.
Yup, we’re awesome.
4) General anesthesia: for those patients with extensive needs and truly desiring unconsciousness during their dental treatment, we can bring in the ultimate in in-office sedation: a dental anesthesiologist who can keep you deeply asleep for the entirety of your appointment. This specialist treatment is also done at general Ontario dental fee guides.
We see all sorts of people who think they’re too nervous to come to the dentist, and then somehow rationalize their absence with a hope that nothing in their mouths is ever going to go wrong and they will never need dental care. This will not pay off, and things will not get cheaper or easier. Your best bet? Good preventive care and regular dental visits to take care of problems before they get big. Contact us for a complete assessment of your needs! We’d love to be your dentist in Barrie.