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February 18, 2016  | by Dr. Benjamin Farrow

Managing Dental Anxiety

Going to the dentist can cause anxiety and this a normal reaction. Whether it is a specific namable fear (i.e needles, sounds, painful past experiences) or a general nervousness about the entire experience, we would like to know how you are feeling. If we can listen to and understand your concerns, we can often find simple ways to help you through the experience. Whether we suggest breathing or distraction techniques or provide sedation, we can help patients develop increased confidence when visiting the dentist.

One way to reduce anxiety is with Nitrous Oxide or “laughing gas.” Nitrous oxide is a safe sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and is inhaled through a mask. The mask fits over your nose and it helps you reach a state where “you are aware but you don’t care.” It does not put you to sleep, you are still awake and are able to hear and respond to Dr. Farrow and his team. You should feel calm and comfortable with in a few deep breaths and the effects will wear off quickly after removing the mask. Since you return to a normal state of consciousness after five minutes of oxygen, you can transport yourself to and from the office. Our office offers Nitrous to help our patients of all ages relax during dental procedures.

Additionally, low-dose prescriptions can be used to reduce anxiety. Our protocol usually involves one dose before bed and one dose on hour before a dental visit. Together, these can help ensure that you both get the rest you need, as well as relax during your dental appointment. Like nitrous oxide, you will remain awake during the procedure but will care less and will likely remember less of the appointment. A brief consultation at the time of scheduling will allow Dr. Farrow to determine the right medicine, dose, and regimen for you.

If this is an option you, a friend, or a family member would like to review with Dr. Farrow, please do not hesitate to discuss your needs when scheduling your next appointment. As always, we are committed to helping you have a positive dental experience.