Hey, Dentists! Make ‘Em Laugh!

Dentists use nitrous oxide to calm mildly anxious patients.
Dentists use nitrous oxide to calm mildly anxious patients.

Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, has been used routinely in dental offices since 1863. It’s a safe, effective sedation option for dental patients seeking a way to control feeling overly anxious about their treatments.

Nearly 75% of American adults experience mild to severe dental anxiety. Causes for dental fears are varied, and may include:

  • Previous painful experiences at the dentist’s office
  • Dealing with general anxiety, mood, or posttraumatic stress disorders
  • Feeling out of control or helpless
  • Having low pain threshold or fear of pain
  • Embarrassment about the look of teeth
  • Phobic about needles and/or anxious about drills
  • Sensitive gag reflex

If you do suffer fear or anxiety about dentistry, the good news is that most dentists offer sedation dentistry. One of the most common forms of sedation is nitrous oxide, often referred to as laughing gas. Continue reading Hey, Dentists! Make ‘Em Laugh!

Tips for Enjoying a Stress-Free Dental Visit

dental anxietyFor many patients, dental anxiety is a very real issue. Every year, it keeps many people from seeking the important care their smiles needs. But the good news is that dental anxiety can be overcome. In some cases, your dentist may offer soothing options to help ease your fears. But if not, here are some tips you can follow yourself to ease your own stress.

  • Don’t be afraid to tell your dentist. The more he or she knows about your anxiety, the more their dental team can do to help you feel welcome and at home.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages, as these can increase your feelings of nervousness.
  • Avoid high-stress traffic situations by arriving early to your appointment.
  • Find out if your dentist offers nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas.
  • Breathe deeply during appointment. By breathing deeply, you can help yourself stay calm and relaxed while your dentist helps your smile.
  • Find out all you can about your treatment. The more you know the less afraid you have to feel about your own oral care.

To find out more about how you can combat dental anxiety, call your dentist with your questions. Dental anxiety is a real condition, but it doesn’t have to keep you from having the kind of strong, healthy smile you’ve always dreamed of.