People have lots of anxiety and fear about a lot of things. If heights make you nervous, you might avoid looking out windows in tall buildings to help control that fear. However, if you have dental anxiety, you can’t just avoid going to the dentist. 60% of Americans have some level of dental anxiety that keeps them from the dental care they need. In our practice in Carmel, IN, we offer sedation and relaxation dentistry to help those who have significant anxiety related to going to the dentist.
If you avoid going to the dentist out of fear or anxiety, your oral health will begin to decline. That’s the biggest problem for people with dental anxiety: they avoid the dentist until they have a problem that can’t be ignored. At this point, a problem that might have been easily repaired months ago will now require more work (for the dentist) and greater expense (for the patient).
Nerves, Anxiety or Phobia?
Being a little nervous before an exam, cleaning, or procedure is natural, but just being nervous doesn’t mean you have actual dental anxiety. Nervousness won’t keep you out of the dental chair for regular exams or cleanings, or even more involved procedures.
Dental anxiety is characterized first by avoidance behavior. If you have dental anxiety, you’ll go to great lengths to put off going to the dentist. It’s recommended that you see your dentist at least twice a year for exams and cleanings. Keeping regular dental appointments is the key to preventing more serious problems with your teeth from happening. People suffering from dental anxiety will wait until they actually have a problem, and may even wait until it can’t be ignored.
If you suffer from dental anxiety, the feelings of dread can begin days before your actual appointment: just thinking about it can make you burst into tears, or you might even feel nauseated at just the thought of it. The night before your appointment, you’ll have difficulty staying asleep or getting to sleep at all. The next day, in the waiting room, the feeling grows and grows. By the time you’re in the dental chair, the terror becomes so great that when the dentist even puts a mirror in your mouth, you feel like you’re suffocating.
It can even be worse for the 5% to 8% of Americans who have dental phobia. These unfortunate folks won’t even think about going to the dentist. As a result, they often suffer from severe oral health problems. A person with dental anxiety can eventually pluck up the strength to make an appointment and come in (even though the experience is terrible for them). A person with dental phobia won’t even pick up the phone.
If we’ve described you in this post, we have solutions for you.
Relaxation Dentistry with Nu-Calm
Nu-Calm is a breakthrough in helping people manage their dental anxiety. It uses a combination of sensory stimulation and manipulation and adrenaline-canceling oral supplements to essentially trick your brain into thinking that it’s time to go to sleep, but you won’t conk out. Instead, your brain enters a “holding pattern” in the pre-sleep phase (the sensation of deep relaxation you feel when you’re just about to fall asleep).
Nu-Calm uses four components to do its job:
Oral Supplements: The oral supplements used in Nu Calm aren’t sedatives. They’re nutritional supplements that essentially turn off your “fight or flight response”, which normally causes adrenaline to be released (and making you feel anxious and panicky).
Microcurrent Stimulation: Small amounts of electric current are used to enhance the relaxation response. Your dentist will place small patches behind your ears to administer the current. This causes no pain or discomfort.
Sound: During your procedure, you’ll wear noise-canceling headphones. You’ll hear soothing music, but what you won’t hear is the neuroaccoustic software: specific frequencies of sound that are inaudible to you manipulates your brain waves and keeps them in the pre-sleep phase.
Sensory Deprivation: Last, your dentist will place an eye-mask that will keep light from disrupting your relaxation.
All these things come together to create a profound, drug-free state of relaxation that lasts throughout your entire procedure. Many patients report that the feeling of relaxation lasts hours, even days after the procedure!
We offer two kinds of sedation dentistry: oral sedation and inhalation dentistry. Your dentist will talk to you to determine which form of sedation is best for you.
Oral sedation is simple but very effective. Your dentist will provide you with a sedative drug that you’ll take about an hour before your appointment. This will induce a very strong sense of relaxation that will keep you calm during your procedure. You won’t ever lose consciousness but your awareness of what is actually going on will be limited.
Inhalation sedation is the form of sedation most people are familiar with. Commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is the “classic” sedation method you’ll find in most dental practices. It’s effects are similar to oral sedation. You’ll wear a small mask that fits over your nose, and the gas is administered through it after being mixed with oxygen.
Don’t Let Your Fear Ruin Your Teeth!
If dental anxiety or dental phobia have kept you out of the dentist’s chair and prevented you from getting the care you need, Really Smile Dentistry can help with relaxation and sedation dentistry!
Call us now at 317-451-4050, or you can use our online appointment form https://www.reallysmile.com/contact-us/make-an-appointment/.