Dental procedures can be stressful for some people, but there are ways of helping to manage stress and anxiety. Whether it be regular dental cleaning, fillings or extractions, there are ways you and your dentist can help to reduce stress. It is essential to talk with your dentist as well as your medical doctor about anxieties you experience so that a treatment plan can be formulated that best suits your needs.
These are forms of distraction that can help take your mind off the procedure. In-office TV’s are a great asset because they provide a visual and auditory distraction. It may also be recommended and beneficial to bring headphones and listen to some of your favourite songs during a procedure. Other excellent in-office distractions are massage chairs, essential oils and stress balls.
Nitrous oxide is administered by inhalation and helps to make you feel more calm and relaxed during a procedure. It has three main effects on your body, which are anti-anxiety, anti-pain and euphoria. It is essential to make sure you breathe through your nose for the nitrous oxide to be effective. At the end of the procedure, you will be administered straight oxygen to eliminate the effects of the nitrous oxide and reduce post-op nausea.
Certain medications can be prescribed to take before dental treatment that will help to calm and relax you. Talk with your medical doctor or dentist about your anxiety and which medication might work best for you.
If you are truly anxious about a procedure and know that you will not be able to get through it with the above options, you can be put to sleep using general anesthetic for any dental procedure. This will be performed at a “dentistry asleep” clinic or at an oral surgery clinic where there are qualified staff skilled in administering IV sedation.