I think the first and most important step is to accept and to admit that there is an anxiety. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t face it. Once the patient and the dentist have accepted, “You know what? I might need a little more help in getting through this process.” That’s the biggest step towards making the anxiety go away.
Sometimes we have to use nitrous oxide to relax people because behavioral modification and making sure people feel comfortable just isn’t enough. If nitrous oxide is not going to help people, there are oral medications that we can use to help people feel relaxed in the chair. If the oral medications don’t work, then we actually have to go to the ultimate, which is IV sedation. Some people really feel they need to be “knocked out” in order to get themselves through dental care. If that is what they need, it is incredibly safe, and then that is what we do.
But the bottom line is, if you have anxiety and you don’t open up about it with the dentist, then you are doing yourself a disservice. You are just going to make it harder on yourself.
Dr. McKeever has been in private practice in Pompton Plains, New Jersey since 1988. He provides the highest quality of general, cosmetic and implant dentistry and treats each patient uniquely according to their individual needs. Dr. Darren McKeever and the team at McKeever Dental Care can be reached at (973) 839-8180 and is located at 933 NJ-23 Pompton Plains, NJ 07444.