Calm Your Fears With Dr. Gottleib
Scheduling or anticipating dental appointments can be a common cause of anxiety. This anxiety can often lead to patients delaying the care they need and developing avoidable diseases.
The comfort, relaxation, and satisfaction of each patient should be the primary focus of any good dental practice. That’s why our staff will do whatever they can to reduce anxiety, dispel fears, and provide painless, quick treatments. Thankfully, technological advancements and open communication allow us to eliminate many common fears. For patients who require help staying calm and still during treatment, effective sedation options are available to help them stay relaxed.
Common Dental Anxieties
If you feel nervous about your upcoming visit to the dentist, you’re not alone. Dental anxiety is common among patients and can get in the way of receiving the dental care you need. If you’ve dealt with a traumatic experience or have a fear of pain or needles, please let us know.
Our mouths are one of the most sensitive areas of our bodies, which may lead to fears about:
- Embarrassment about the condition of teeth
- Injections or needles
- Loss of control
- Not becoming numb when injected with Novocain
- Dentistry instruments or drills
Talk to us about your concerns before or during your appointment so that our compassionate team can assure your comfort and do what’s possible to mitigate your fears.
Tips for Overcoming Dental Anxieties
If you experience dental anxiety, the fear can become overwhelming. But you’re not alone. It’s estimated that as many as 35 million people don’t visit the dental office at all because they’re too afraid. However, receiving regular dental check-ups and cleanings is incredibly important. Having routine check-ups is the easiest way to maintain excellent oral hygiene and avoid the need for more complex, invasive treatments.
If you experience any anxieties about visiting the dentist, here are some tips to help reduce these feelings:
Talk to us — We want to make sure that your appointment is a comfortable experience for you. Though it can be hard to talk about anxieties with a stranger, we can take extra precautions during visits if your concerns are communicated. We’re happy to talk with you during or before your appointment to ensure clear, open communication.
Bring your earbuds — Music can be relaxing and also helps drown out any fear-producing noises. Listening to comforting music throughout the appointment will help to reduce anxiety.
Agree on a signal — Many people are afraid that their dentist won’t know they’re in significant pain during an appointment and will continue with the procedure regardless. The best way to solve this problem is to agree on a “stop” hand signal. Both parties can easily understand signals like raising a hand or tapping on the chair.
Spray the throat — If you’re afraid of gagging, a throat spray is something to discuss with Dr. Gottleib. Throat sprays (for example, Vicks® Chloraseptic® Throat Spray) can help control the gag reflex. Two or three sprays will usually keep the reflex under control for about an hour.
Ask about alternatives — Advances in technology mean that a dental microsurgery is now an option. Lasers can be used to prepare teeth for fillings, whiten teeth, and remove staining. Discuss all the options with us and decide on treatments that will be effective and produce minimal anxiety.
If you find there’s no other way to cope, sedation is an excellent option for many patients. There are several types of sedation available, but the general premise behind them is the same: the patient regains their faculties after treatment is complete. Please call our Franklinville office to learn more about the types of dental sedation we offer.
*It’s important to note that you’ll need a driver waiting to safely take you home following treatment with sedation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Depending on your dental care needs and procedure, you’ll be sedated between two to four hours. Afterward, you’ll feel groggy and will need to have someone you trust to drive you to and from your appointment. For everyone’s safety, you should not be driving for the next 24 hours.
Some common side effects of sedation include:
- Dry mouth
- Trouble remembering the procedure
In addition to following any pre-op recommendations by our Franklinville dentists, it’s vital that you follow the fasting guidelines and avoid eating or drinking for six hours before sedation. You may drink water up to two hours before your appointment.
Fasting is an important precaution due to the reflex suppressing effects of sedation. If you have food or beverages in your stomach and become nauseous, you’re more likely to vomit and aspirate. If you eat or drink before sedation, your procedure will need to be canceled.
If you have any questions about dental sedation instructions, please feel free to contact our New Jersey office by calling (856) 694-5555 and we’ll be happy to help.
The aftercare guidelines for sedation depend on the type you received. For many forms of sedation, you’ll want to follow any recommendations given to you by Dr. Gottleib and these guidelines:
- Take it easy — Don’t participate in activities that put you at risk for injury, as you’ll be less coordinated and you might be off-balance.
- Continue to move around — This will help your body metabolize the medication.
- Drink water — You may be dehydrated following your procedure and water will help flush out the medicine.
- Avoid foods that might upset your stomach, as sedation can cause nausea.
Don’t Let Fear Keep You From the Care You Need
Receiving regular dental care is important not just for your oral health, but for your overall health too. We’re determined to make your care as worry-free as possible. If you’re experiencing any apprehension about visiting the dentist’s office or you have questions about accommodations, call our Franklinville office at (856) 694-5555 or send us an email.