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Help! I Have Dental Anxiety

People rarely put a trip to the dentist on their list of favorite things to do. But more than 60% of people worldwide admit to having dental fears, anxieties, and phobias. In the United States, these feelings keep one-third of Americans from getting the oral health care they need.

At South Bay Prosthodontics, our skilled team knows that a visit to the dentist shouldn’t be a fearful or anxious experience, especially if it keeps you from taking care of your oral health.

That’s why we offer sedation dentistry options, so all of your dental visits are comfortable, whether you need a comprehensive evaluation or full mouth rehabilitation.

Recognizing dental fears or phobias

One of the main reasons people fear and avoid the dentist is worry over pain. For others, it’s anxiety over injections or worry that anesthesia won’t work — or even the concern about losing control or being helpless in the dentist’s chair. 

If you find yourself avoiding a dental visit or going only when you have extreme pain, it could be a sign you have a dental phobia. Additional signs of a dental phobia include: 

The first step to having a comfortable dental visit is sharing your concerns. These are common issues, but we can only help if we know your worries.

Managing dental anxiety with sedation dentistry

The term “sedation dentistry” may leave you thinking you’ll be unconscious during your appointment. While that is one option, this area of dentistry relies on a variety of medical sedatives that can keep you relaxed and comfortable during your visit.

Oral sedatives

If you have more mild forms of dental anxiety, we might prescribe an oral sedative. You take this pill approximately an hour before you arrive, and it puts you at ease. When taking oral sedatives, you stay awake during your appointment, but you need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.

Inhalation sedation

We administer this form of medical sedative through a mask over your nose during your procedure. As you inhale the nitrous oxide — more commonly known as laughing gas — you begin to relax. As soon as you remove the mask, the effects quickly wear off. We might recommend inhalation sedation if you have mild to moderate anxiety.

Intravenous sedation

For more severe dental anxiety, we offer intravenous sedation delivered through an IV by a fully trained and credentialed anesthesiologist. With this type of dental sedation, you move into a relaxed state quickly, and you sleep comfortably during your appointment. You’ll need someone to drive you home with this type of sedation.

With sedation dentistry, you can rest easy knowing your appointment will be safe and comfortable while addressing all of your dental needs.

Don’t let your dental fear, anxiety, or phobias put your oral health at risk. Contact our office in Torrance, California, by calling 310-626-1791 to learn more about sedation dentistry.

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