I’m really not a good dental patient. In fact, I’ve been avoiding going for a while now, which is why I’m currently in tremendous pain. I know I need to be seen. I’m sure something is very wrong. But, just the idea of going in makes me tear up and hyperventilate. I have general anxiety anyway, which is why my doctor prescribes me Xanax. Do you think it would be okay if I took one before my dental appointment? I think it would help.
You are definitely not alone in your fear of the dentist. Many people struggle with that. Like you, they also avoid the dentist, scheduling appointments on a dental emergency basis only. Sadly, that perpetuates the problem because their only experiences in the dental chair are negative ones.
While some dentists would let you take a Xanax before your appointment, they would definitely need to know well in advance so they can arrange to only use medication that won’t interfere with yours. However, I’m going to offer a better solution. One, that should help you turn your oral health around and see the dentist regularly again.
Dentists Who Cater to Anxious Patients
There are compassionate dentists who will cater to anxious patients. Many of them use some type of dental sedation for their high anxiety patients. A mild form of sedation would be nitrous oxide. It is sometimes known under its nickname of laughing gas. You may have seen the episode of “Call the Midwife” when the ladies in labor were first introduced to it.
However, we’ve discovered for those with a strong anxiety, such as you’ve described, nitrous isn’t enough. That’s why we also offer Oral Conscious Sedation. You will still be conscious and can respond to what’s going on around you, but will be absolutely and completely relaxed. You will feel great.
This gives you a stress-free/pain-free dental appointment. All it requires is to take a simple pill and you’re off to your happy place.
The one downside is you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment in addition to staying with you until the sedation wears off, which could be several hours after the appointment.
You’ll be able to repair whatever is going on with your teeth now, then in the future, because it allows the dentist to get more work in at each appointment, you’ll be able to get your oral health totally back on track.
Best of luck to you and get that tooth seen to.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.