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Is Anxiety Keeping You from Completing Needed Dental Work?

Is Anxiety Keeping You from Completing Needed Dental Work?

Posted by Jocelynn Vida on May 17 2022, 02:30 AM

Dental anxiety is a fear that holds patients back from getting the dental work they need. You may avoid the dentist altogether because of anxiety, or you may show up only to avoid pain and discomfort. Either way, patients with dental anxiety tend to visit the dentist less often, causing their oral health to suffer.

What causes dental anxiety?

Most patients experience some measure of anxiety when going to the dentist. However, in some cases, this anxiety can become so severe that patients avoid going to the dentist altogether, even when they know some dental treatment is needed.

Dental anxiety can have many causes. In some cases, patients may just need a better understanding of the procedures they’ll be undergoing. However, dental anxiety can also be caused by fear of pain, fear of needles, fear of the sound of the dental drill, or some past experiences.

Does dental anxiety affect a lot of people?

Many adults experience at least some level of anxiety about going to the dentist. This anxiety can keep them from seeking treatment or completing treatment. It can also lead to avoiding the dentist altogether.

This anxiety is not unusual - a lot of people experience it. In fact, a recent study found that 34% of adults experience dental anxiety.

What are my treatment options?

  • Medication can be prescribed to ease anxiety. The type of medication prescribed will vary based on your needs and medical history.
  • Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is often administered to relax the patient. This gas is delivered through a mask worn over the nose. It is mild and safe, and its effects will wear off after a few minutes.
  • Oral conscious sedation involves the patient ingesting a sedative in pill form. The sedatives used most often for oral conscious sedation are benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax. These medications are very effective, but they are not intended for long-term use.

Tips to reduce anxiety

Before any procedure, it is a good idea to talk with your dentist about anxiety. He or she may be able to recommend some relaxation techniques or sedation dentistry that can make your procedure more comfortable.

Here are a few tips you can follow to quell dental anxiety:

  • Arrive early.
  • Communicate openly about your concerns and fears.
  • Listen to music using headphones to relax during the procedure.
  • Choose the right, experienced dentist who offers the best amenities.
  • Schedule a visit in advance.
  • Minimize worry surrounding pain.
  • Practice effective breathing.

At Vida Dentistry, we offer all dental sedation options to help you overcome dental anxiety and have a relaxed experience. To learn more, call (949) 209-8889, visit us at 25270 Marguerite Pkwy Suite C, Mission Viejo, CA 92692, or send us an email at

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25270 Marguerite Parkway Ste C

Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Phone : (949) 209-8889
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