If the thought of visiting the dentist fills you with fear, you’re not alone. Patients of many ages can feel anxious about visiting the dentist. Whether patients fear loud noises, pain, or dental treatment, we’re here to help. At Coastal General Dentistry, we help patients relieve their dental anxiety in our Virginia Beach, VA, office.
Avoiding the dentist for many years because of dental fear can increase your risk of dental problems. If you develop an oral health issue and do not receive professional dental treatment, a small problem can worsen over time. Anxiety is a common dental concern among patients. We will work with you to ensure your dental visit is stress-free and comfortable. Patient and dentist communication can help reduce anxiety and fear of the unknown.
How to Treat Dental Anxiety in Virginia Beach, VA
Some patients have dental fears surrounding the office, dental tools, and dentists. Related fears can include the fear of:
- Loud noises
Our office knows some patients may also have had negative experiences at the dentist. We want to replace negative experiences with positive, new experiences. Dr. Cappy Sinclair, Dr. Mark Reichley, and their office staff are here to ensure you feel relaxed during your dental visits. Our team wants you to receive comfortable dental care and keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Sedation for Pain-Free Dental Care
Dental sedation is a valuable tool dentists use to ensure patients do not feel pain or discomfort during dental procedures. Sometimes, we recommend sedation for patients at routine cleaning if they have severe anxiety:
- Nitrous oxide: Also known as laughing gas, dentists mix nitrous oxide with oxygen so patients feel comfortable and relaxed during dental treatments. Patients may also feel giggly or happy under nitrous oxide.
- Oral conscious sedation: Patients take anti-anxiety medication before their treatment. Under oral conscious sedation, patients are still awake but do not feel any pain from treatment.
- IV sedation: During IV sedation, an IV delivers anti-anxiety medication through the bloodstream. This sedation often works in addition to other types of sedation to create deep relaxation.
Patients under sedation are not awake. However, they will not feel the pain of treatment and may not be aware of what happens around them. General anesthesia is often grouped with sedation. Under general anesthesia, patients are unaware of their treatment and are completely unconscious.
Accommodations for Dental Anxiety in Virginia Beach, VA
We welcome patients to contact us before their visit. Our office can make accommodations based on your fears and dental needs. There are also multiple ways to reduce your anxiety at the dental office:
- Speak to us before treatment: We will help you manage your anxiety and ensure you feel comfortable at your next visit.
- Listen to music: Bring your phone and earphones or headphones to listen to music.
- Use noise-canceling headphones: If you do not want to hear any noise during your treatment, you can bring headphones to wear in the dental chair.
- Bring a stress ball or other calming object: Fidget toys, stress balls, and other objects can help occupy your hands and shift your focus from dental care.
- Take breaks: We can take pauses in treatment as needed. Before your care, we can decide on a signal so we can stop your cleaning or exam.
- Bring a loved one: You can bring a loved one to wait with you before your appointment.
We also welcome you to schedule a time to tour our office and meet our team before your next appointment. Familiarizing yourself with our office can help you feel more comfortable.
Dental Anxiety FAQs
Learn more about dental anxiety and fear with answers to questions asked by many of our patients:
What are the signs of dental anxiety?
You may have dental anxiety or dental fear if you:
- Find it hard to sleep before a dental visit
- Panic and have trouble breathing in the dental chair
- Commonly experience a fast heart rate at the dentist
- Avoid the dentist entirely due to fear
How can I go to the dentist if I have dental anxiety?
Communication between you and our dentist will make visiting the dentist’s office easier if you have anxiety. Talk to the dentist about your triggers and what makes you anxious about visiting the office. They will help you manage your dental fear.
Our office is a judgment-free space. We do not judge patients for avoiding the dentist. Our goal is to ensure you get the dental health care you need.
Can medication help dental anxiety?
Dentists can prescribe medication if you have dental anxiety. Some types of sedation use anti-anxiety medication so you feel relaxed during dental treatment.
How can I calm my anxiety before I visit the dentist?
You can follow these tips to feel calmer before your dental visit:
- Avoid caffeine and sugar
- Use breathing techniques
- Listen to a guided meditation
When you get to the dental office, feel free to talk to your dentist before treatment. They will understand your concerns and help you feel calmer and more relaxed during your visit.
How does dental anxiety impact oral health?
Many patients with dental anxiety avoid visiting the dentist. Routine visits every six months are essential to clean teeth and gums. These routine visits also allow us to keep track of developing dental problems.
If patients develop dental problems but avoid the dentist, their problems can worsen over time. Ultimately, some patients may require more complex dental care.
Why is dental anxiety common?
Dental anxiety is common because many people associate pain with the dentist. However, pain-free dentistry is possible. Dentists can numb the mouth, use sedation, and utilize technology for painless care. Dentists, dental assistants, and dental office staff are here to ensure positive and pain-free care for patients.
Schedule a Dental Appointment
Do you avoid the dentist due to fear? Call Coastal General Dentistry for comfortable dental care at 757-216-9914. Feel free to schedule a dental appointment with us online. We’re here to help treat your dental anxiety in our Virginia Beach, VA office.
Let us know if you have questions about scheduling a visit. We will help accommodate you so you feel relaxed at the dentist.