Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety is not uncommon. In fact, some studies show that up to 75% of Americans experience some level of dental related fear and 20% avoid dental care because of it. Dental anxieties and phobias present themselves in a wide variety of ways, and specific fears vary from person to person. Dental anxiety may be mild to moderate, and often takes the form of a general sense of worry and apprehension when thinking about an upcoming procedure. Dental phobia is a more intense experience, with patients feeling an overwhelming fear of dental work, which can lead to avoiding it all together.

If you have a fear of dental work, we want you to know that making you feel relaxed and safe at our office is our first priority. Whatever your individual level of anxiety may be, our office is committed to making sure that your visit is as comfortable, quick and easy as possible. There are many solutions for dental anxiety, and we are ready to help.

Oral Conscious Sedation

If any of the above sounds familiar, you may be a candidate for Sedation Dentistry. Even patients who are not anxious for treatment, but suffer from sensitive gag reflexes, heightened muscle pain following dental procedures or a resistance to local anesthetics can benefit.

Before your treatment visit, you will be given a prescription for an oral sedative with instructions to take it at a predetermined time before your appointment. Due to the effects of these drugs you will need to have a friend or family member bring you to the office where Dr. Spitze will then make sure that you are comfortable and ready to begin with treatment. During your visit you will be awake and able to respond to directions but many patients do not remember specifics about the course of their treatment once it is finished. Your ride will then take you home where you can relax for the rest of the day, allowing the drug to leave your system.

Advantages to patients include:

  • Treatment is completed when you are in a more relaxed mood.
  • You will have less difficulty sitting through a lengthy procedure.
  • Multiple treatments and full mouth restorations can occur during the same visit.
  • Less discomfort after treatment.

Oral health is important for the health of your whole body. Don’t let fear stand in your way of good dental care! We can help you get the care that you need. Call today to make an appointment. Oregon City Office Phone Number 503-631-2353

When not to take benzodiazepines:

Some of these drugs can affect your liver and heart. It’s important to check with your practitioner and/or pharmacist.  You should be sure to inform us if any of the following apply: known allergy to the drug, narrow-angle glaucoma, pregnancy, severe respiratory disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), impaired kidney or liver function, depression/bipolar disorder/psychoses, chronic bronchitis and some other conditions. It’s also important to let us know if you are taking other medications due to possible drug interactions.

Here are a few other popular methods for easing anxiety in the dental office:

  • Communication: Informing us as to what you are afraid of is a great place to start. Often we can quell a fear simply by giving you correct or updated information. We will always keep you informed before, during and after your procedure, making sure that you understand what is going on and why we are doing it.
  • Listening to Music: With most procedures, the use of personal headphones and music is allowed. This is a great way to keep calm and pass the time while in the chair.
  • Taking Breaks: Let us know if you would like to take a short break during your treatment by signaling with your left hand.