Young man with dental anxiety receiving sedation dentistry for cosmetic service

Sedation Dentistry: How to Get a Beautiful Smile if You Have Dental Anxiety

From children to adults, dental anxiety is a common experience that people go through. This can stem from feeling uncomfortable having someone in your personal space, or you may not know what to expect. However, there are many solutions to treating your dental anxiety, including sedation dentistry.

If you’re experiencing feelings of worry, you can always speak to your dentist so they can explain what they’re doing and calm any nerves you may have. Whether that is for a regular cleaning or a dental procedure for implants, there’s a solution for you. Sedation dentistry may be the right choice if you’re ready to regain your beautiful smile and conquer your dental anxiety.

Are you interested in meeting your smile goals? Alaska Dental Arts have many cosmetic services that can help you book an appointment with us!

What Is Dental Anxiety?

What Are Signs of dental Anxiety Infographic

Dental anxiety is when you have fear, anxiety, or stress associated with being in a dental setting. For some people, their dental anxiety isn’t tied to what procedure they’re getting but rather their overall dental experience.

Some signs of dental anxiety can include:

  • Sweating
  • Racing heartbeat or palpitations
  • Low blood pressure and possible fainting
  • Visible distress, crying, or signs of panic
  • Withdrawal, or using humor or aggression to mask anxiety

These signs can be helpful to understand so you know when you’re experiencing dental anxiety. Although many people don’t want to go to the dentist, that may not mean they have dental anxiety. If you find yourself becoming anxious or avoidant of dentists, that can signify that you’re struggling with dental anxiety.

What Causes Dental Anxiety?

There is a myriad of reasons why you may be experiencing dental anxiety. Sometimes it can stem from a childhood experience, while other times it can be experiencing something unknown. Some common causes of dental anxiety can include:

  • A traumatic dental experience or other healthcare experience
  • Previous trauma to the head or neck
  • Other traumatic experiences, including abuse
  • Generalized anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • The view that the mouth is a person’s area and accessing the mouth is an invasion of personal space
  • Fear of loss of control
  • Trust issues
  • Anxiety is associated with other conditions such as agoraphobia, claustrophobia, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, where there is an obsession with cleanliness

You may have experienced one or several of these contributing factors, and while facing your fears may be challenging, it can have a big payoff in the long run.

How Can Dental Anxiety Affect Your Health?

Some people who experience dental anxiety may also encounter other oral health issues. Dental anxiety may inhibit you from visiting the dentist, which can affect your dental health. Some oral health problems that may occur from not going to the dentist can include:

  • Tooth loss
  • Gum disease
  • Oral cancer
  • Plaque buildup
  • Tooth decay
  • Bad breath
  • Cavities
  • Tooth stains

This can be common for people who don’t have a good dental routine of brushing and flossing their teeth regularly. People who smoke or drink can also be at a higher risk for oral health problems that become bigger when not treated by a professional. Combining lifestyle factors plus a poor dental routine can lead to the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

Are you interested in getting the best cosmetic dental care in Alaska? Schedule an appointment with Alaska Dental Arts today to get started!

How Can Sedation Dentistry Help With Dental Anxiety?

Since dental anxiety is a very common problem, Alaska Dental Arts offers sedation dentistry that can help you get the care you need. Many people think IV sedation may not be safe for them. However, dental anxiety is actually why IV sedation was introduced to dentistry. IV sedation isn’t the only option for dental anxiety, as there are other methods depending on your anxiety level and procedure.

Being scared, nervous, and having anxiety can trigger cardiac events. But, when you’re under IV sedation, you’re very calm, mild-mannered, nothing is upsetting, and your anxiety level is low so that your procedure can be done in a safer and healthier environment.

Dental anxiety can put you in a stressful situation. It can make it difficult for your dentist to do what they need for your health. But when you’re relaxed, they’ll be able to ensure that your oral health is at its best.

We offer several dental services at Alaska Dental Arts to ensure you meet your smile goals. And to help us do that, we offer a few sedation options to help you feel relaxed.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation may be exactly what you need to ease your anxieties. Your dentist will prescribe you a pill to take about an hour before your appointment so that you’ll be completely physically and mentally relaxed when you sit in the treatment chair. You’ll still be awake the entire time, but you’ll likely have very little memory of your visit afterward, which may be perfect for you.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide has been used for over a hundred years to help soothe anxious dental patients, and it’s gentle enough to use on children. A patient inhales the odorless gas through a small nasal mask, and you’ll feel a warm and relaxing sensation within a minute. After the procedure is over and the mask is removed, the effects wear off almost instantly, allowing you to go about your day normally.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is typically recommended for patients who are undergoing more invasive procedures. This could include oral surgery, extractions, or facial reconstruction. Patients who are nervous about visiting the office and need to relax while the procedure is being done can also benefit from this method. Your IV sedation will be continually monitored while you’re in our office, and it wears off quickly once the IV is taken out of your arm.

IV sedation will put you in a deep state of sleep which can be ideal for more invasive procedures or to help you relax during your appointment. This is a safe and customizable treatment for each patient in our office.

Why Choose Alaska Dental Arts?

At Alaska Dental Arts, we are dedicated to helping you reach your smile dreams. With regular checkups to cosmetic services, we can help you.

We understand that it can be difficult to visit the dentist when you’re unsure what will happen. So, our hygienists and dentists will review all the treatment and processes planned so that you know exactly what to expect. We can walk you through the whole process to reduce any worries that you may have.

Our sedation dentistry is done safely for each patient to ensure that we provide the best care. Even your children can benefit from sedation dentistry as it can help them feel better about the procedure. If you have questions about how we administer the sedation, you can talk with our professional staff to learn how we customize it to your needs.

Don’t wait to obtain your smile goals; schedule an appointment with us today to learn how we can help you. With our wide range of cosmetic services, we can help you through myriad options that best fit your needs. If you’re ready to have the oral health you deserve, don’t let your dental anxiety get in the way by scheduling an appointment with us!

Are you ready to get the dental care that you deserve? Schedule an appointment with Alaska Dental Arts today!