Whether your dental surgery involves just one or all of your teeth, it’s common to feel nervous about having surgical instruments in your mouth. However, you can risk serious damage to your teeth, gums, and mouth if you let fear prevent you from getting the care you need.
To ensure that you’re able to get dental surgery when it’s recommended, you’ll need to address your concerns. Finding ways to relieve your fears and calm your nerves can help you feel more relaxed before and during the procedure.
The dentists at Rifkin Dental in Yorktown Heights and Carmel, New York, provide professional dental surgery with consideration for your concerns. Our dental team is dedicated to providing expert, caring treatment so you remain calm and comfortable during every step of your dental surgery.
Learn how to relieve the anxiety and stress you may be experiencing about upcoming dental surgery.
Communicate with your dentist
Communicating with your dentist can go a long way toward helping you overcome dental anxiety. No matter what the situation, you typically feel less anxious when you feel informed and in control of your environment.
Make sure you understand exactly what to expect on the day of the procedure. During your initial examination and consultation, address your concerns about the duration of the procedure. Find out what will be done and how you can expect to feel during and after surgery.
Ensure that you can maintain that level of communication by requesting to set up a hand signal so you can indicate if you need a break during the surgery.
Dentists are trained to treat patients who are anxious about dental surgery and other oral procedures, so they understand how to make you feel safe and comfortable. Expressing your concerns can help the dentist adapt their approach and the treatment to meet your needs.
Schedule your visit at a low-stress time
When scheduling the appointment for your dental surgery, try to set your visit at a time of day when you’ll feel less rushed or under pressure. Being worried about issues like traffic, work, or another commitment can increase your stress level.
Consider options like a Saturday, early morning, or evening appointment if those times are less stressful for your daily schedule.
Practice relaxation techniques
Relaxation exercises that focus on breathing and meditation can help slow your heart rate and put you at ease. When you are nervous, you tend to hold your breath, which can decrease oxygen levels and increase levels of panic. Focus on slow, regular breathing to help reduce stress.
Consider medication to treat dental anxiety
Your dentist can help reduce your dental anxiety with sedation dentistry. This may involve one of two approaches:
Oral conscious sedation
Oral conscious sedation requires taking oral medication that delivers a state of extreme relaxation in which you remain awake but feel relaxed or drowsy. With this type of medication, you remain aware of what’s happening, though you may not remember much about the surgery after it’s finished.
While you may become so drowsy that you fall asleep as a result of oral conscious sedation, it’s not likely to be a deep sleep. Patients who fall asleep under these conditions can usually be awakened with a gentle shake.
Oral conscious sedation requires taking a pill about an hour before your surgery. After the surgery, you remain at the office until the effects of the medication wear off.
IV sedation is administered intravenously and monitored by a licensed anesthesiologist. Since it delivers an effect that is stronger than oral conscious sedation, it is usually reserved for extreme dental anxiety.
IV sedation works faster because it enters your body through a vein. This procedure allows your dentist to adjust the level of sedation during your surgery if necessary.
You’re likely to have no memory of your dental surgery if you have IV sedation.
Understand pain management
Many people become nervous about dental surgery due to anticipated pain during or after their surgery. Discuss your concerns with your dentist during your consultation.
Knowing what to expect may help put you at ease. While sedation dentistry helps you remain relaxed, a local anesthetic is typically used to numb the area for the duration of any surgery that involves the tooth or gum structure. This prevents you from feeling pain.
After your procedure, you can expect to receive directions to minimize pain as you heal. You may receive a prescription for a prescription pain reliever as necessary.
At Rifkin Dental, we make it a priority to ensure that you feel at ease during your dental surgery. This gives us the best environment to provide professional services and achieve optimal outcomes.
Find out more about easing your anxiety about dental surgery. Schedule a consultation by calling our Yorktown Heights or Carmel office today.