If you have been avoiding the dentist due to a negative past experience or fear of surgical procedures, we welcome you to schedule a visit to our office. Prosthodontists Dr. Keith Boenning and Dr. Nathan Dancykier work one-on-one with anxious or fearful patients to identify their health needs. They address patients’ stressors so they can get the care they need.
Some patients may avoid biannual dental checkups because they are anxious about visiting the dentist. However, patients who avoid visiting the dentist may not get the treatment they need quickly enough, creating complex issues from minor dental concerns when left untreated.
Visiting our dental office will lower your chance of developing dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease.
Dr. Boenning and Dr. Dancykier treat patients with dental anxiety in Towson, MD. They offer a variety of options to help patients feel relaxed while treating their dental concerns.
Solutions for Dental Anxiety
Dr. Boenning and Dr. Dancykier discuss treatment plans with each patient prior to their care so that they can better understand their procedure. As dental specialists, Dr. Boenning and Dr. Dancykier offer the latest in modern dental care. Our dentists have also continued their education to keep up with the latest dental procedures and methods.
Sedation dentistry helps patients with dental anxiety feel at ease while visiting the dentist for routine care or complex procedures. Dr. Boenning and Dr. Dancykier personalize their care by discussing medical history, goals, and concerns before sedation. They make sure that patients feel comfortable before their treatment.
They will review options with patients before choosing the appropriate method. Sedation dentistry allows patients to receive dental care while feeling relaxed. Patients can receive pain-free care with little to no memory of their procedure with dental sedation.
Also known as ‘laughing gas,’ nitrous oxide is a safe way to feel total relaxation with receiving dental treatments. We will place a small mask over your nose to deliver the gas throughout the dental appointment. You will instantly feel relaxed, and all your anxiety will be gone. Once we place the mask, you will feel the effect immediately.
Even though you will be in a deep state of relaxation, you will still be able to communicate with the dentist and control your body movements. Once we remove the mask, the effects will quickly wear off.
We use oral sedation for patients with severe anxiety problems. Before your appointment, we will prescribe an oral medication that you will take about an hour before you arrive. Since it is taken in pill form, it will take a while for the effects to kick in.
The medication will put you into a deep state of relaxation, but you will not be asleep. You can still move and communicate; however, you will not feel panicked or anxious. The medication may take several hours to wear off after your appointment. You will need to have transportation to and from your appointment.
Dental Anxiety FAQs
How common is dental anxiety?
Dental anxiety is a prevalent issue in the United States. There are estimates that suggest that at least 30% of Americans experience some form of dental-related phobia or fear. This includes people who experience mild uneasiness and those with severe dental phobia.
Dental anxiety can also stem from past negative experiences at the dentist and even general concerns about pain or embarrassment during a procedure. Many dentists are aware of this issue and work to offer various strategies to help patients manage their anxiety and receive dental care.
What is the most feared dental procedure?
The common procedures that often cause fear or anxiety include root canals and tooth extractions (particularly wisdom teeth removal). Root canal therapy is generally more invasive than other procedures, such as dental fillings or tooth crowns. Dentists attribute these patients’ fear to misconceptions, past negative experiences, or fear of pain. As a result, dentists increasingly use techniques to alleviate anxiety and ensure patient comfort during these procedures.
Do dentists judge you for having cavities?
No, dentists do not judge their patients for having cavities. Dentists understand that cavities can develop because of genetics, diet, and oral hygiene habits. The dentist will guide a patient on how to prevent future cavities. Furthermore, the dentist will educate you on what you must do to achieve better dental health. Most dentists are compassionate professionals striving to create positive patient outcomes.
Can dentists tell if you have anxiety?
Dentists are often able to recognize signs of anxiety in their patients. They may notice physical signs, such as dry mouth, sweating, trembling, or rapid breathing. Dentists may also notice behavioral signs like nervousness, avoidance, or hesitation. Some patients may openly share their concerns with the dentist. Most dentists are understanding and empathetic toward patients with anxiety. If you have dental anxiety, it’s important to communicate with your dentist so they can provide support and accommodations.
Can I request sedation at the dentist?
Yes, you can request sedation at the dentist. Different levels of sedation are available, ranging from mild sedation with nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to deep sedation or general anesthesia. Discuss your needs with your dentist before making any decisions. This will ensure they can prescribe the most effective type of anesthesia for your comfort and safety.
What can I take for anxiety before dental work?
Discussing your dental concerns with your dentist is important if you’re experiencing anxiety before a dental procedure. Your dentist may recommend an anti-anxiety medication, such as a benzodiazepine (Valium or Xanax). This anti-anxiety medication can help you feel more relaxed during your appointment.
Always follow your dentist’s advice and obtain a prescription when necessary. Additionally, you can try relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or guided imagery. It’s important to communicate your needs and dental concerns to your dentist to ensure comfort during the visit and procedure.
Request a Consultation Today
Do you or a loved one struggle with dental fear or anxiety? Call 410.324.2294 or schedule an appointment with our dentists on our website. Dr. Boenning, Dr. Dancykier, and their dental team are dedicated to assisting patients with all of their dental needs. They aim to create a warm and friendly environment in their Towson office.