If someone told you that he or she has never been afraid of anything, then you would probably think that either (A) they were lying or (B) they were joking.
Everyone is afraid of something, and we know quite well that many people are afraid of coming to the dentist.
Dental anxiety can come from a lot of places, but we don’t want that to stop you from getting the basic dental care that you need if you live in or near Monroe, LA.
If you can’t remember the last time you visited a dentist for a cleaning and examination, then we encourage you to visit Bayou Dental Group before you make an appointment. This can be a low-stress way for you to become familiar with our office, to meet our staff, and to ask questions about our approach to patient care.
If you have high levels of dental anxiety, then we would welcome you to ask about oral sedation.
It’s OK To Be Anxious
Dental anxiety is more common than many people realize. The University of Washington in Seattle has created a Dental Fears Research Clinic to study this and to learn how to help people manage their fear of the dentist.
They have found that 1 in 5 Americans only goes to the dentist when it is absolutely necessary (i.e. during a dental emergency). From our perspective, avoiding basic care only makes it more likely that you will have one of those emergencies.
This is why we encourage our patients to visit us for routine care a couple times every year. A basic cleaning and examination can prevent problems or identify them early so they can be treated before they turn into a major issue.
That much you probably know already, but knowing it does not make it any easier to make an appointment, much less to sit down in a dentist’s chair.
We don’t have a magic wand that can make your anxiety disappear. However, we do want to find ways that make it a little easier for you when you visit us. If you can make that first step, our team will be here to support you.
We treat patients almost every day who deal with some degree of dental anxiety. Our goal to reduce that anxiety a little bit with each visit.
It may take years for that anxiety to go away, and that’s OK. We aren’t going to rush you, and we aren’t going to make you feel bad.
How Oral Sedation Can Help?
One of the most effective ways to manage dental anxiety is with anti-anxiety medication. This is sometimes referred to as oral sedation or oral conscious sedation.
Our intent is to make dental care as painless as possible for our patients. For many procedures, we use a local anesthetic to keep patients from feeling pain. Unfortunately for patients who are afraid of needles, receiving the anesthetic can itself be a source of anxiety.
This is one of the advantages of oral sedation dentistry. All you have to do is take a pill prior to your appointment. The medication will allow you to relax, and its pain-relieving effects will eliminate the need for needles.
Many patients also feel groggy or drowsy after taking oral sedation medicine. (A few even fall asleep, and that’s OK, too.) Once we know the medication has taken effect, we can start your treatment.
You may remember bits and pieces of what happened. You may not remember any of it.
But the bottom line is that you will receive the preventive care that you need to fight or treat cavities, gum disease, and other more serious problems.
A Few Things To Keep In Mind
Before you assume that oral sedation is the only way to deal with your dental anxiety, we encourage you to talk to us about the reasons you feel anxious. It may be possible to address your anxiety in other ways such as longer appointments or by taking advantage of our comfort options.
If you do receive oral sedation, you should be aware that you must make arrangements for someone else to transport you to and from our office. The effects of the medicine can last for hours, so you will not be in a condition to drive.
Would You Like To Know More?
If you are interested in learning more about Bayou Dental Group or about oral sedation dentistry, please contact us today. We would like to talk to you about how we can help you manage your dental anxiety.
We take pride in providing dental care to our patients in Monroe and nearby Louisiana communities. We would love to help you, too.