Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Q. How do you handle a patient like me who is very nervous and anxious about coming to the dentist?

A. There are a number of things we do in order to overcome this anxiety:

1. The first thing is to establish a good relationship with the patient.  At Hughes & Hughes Family Dentistry, we take the time to get to know the patient and determine exactly why or what they are nervous about.

2. A thorough explanation is given to the patient as to what will be done and what they can expect.

3. We take our time with the patient and guide them through their visit.

4. Medication can be prescribed to the patient to take before their visit to help them relax, however, they will need to have someone drive them to the visit and take them home afterwards.

5. Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas” is available and helps the patient relax during the visit.  Its affects wear off quickly after its use and the patient can leave on their own.

6. We give a novocaine injection that can barely be felt.  Sometimes the patient doesn’t feel it at all.  We find that if the “getting numb” part of the visit is painless, then the anxiety for the rest of the visit drops dramatically.

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