After taking care of so many patients, Santa Cruz dentist Dr. Matiasevich is fully aware of the anxiety that many go through when they come in for appointments.
This fear of dentists is not uncommon, with one study indicating as high as 20% of Americans harbor some form of anxiety when it comes to visiting a dental clinic. If left untreated, this anxiety can be a barrier to getting proper dental care. In fact, one study suggests that as much as 8% of patients will skip going to their dentist because of fear alone.
Sources of Fear
The thing is, the fear of dentists may not always be the result of a patient’s traumatic experience in a clinic. The environment can play a big part in a patient’s attitude.
A patient may have learned about pain from a friend or family member’s experience. With enough credibility behind them, a patient’s impression can be altered to such a degree that he may begin to fear something he has never experienced himself.
Another source is mass media. The constant barrage of movies, television programs, cartoons, and even stand-up comedians portraying dentists in a bad and painful light can go a long way to setting up one’s mind.
Yet another source of fear is when people associate white laboratory gowns, the smell of antiseptics, and the high pitched sound of machinery with pain.
Dentists have several options when dealing with anxious patients. If talking them through a procedure will not help, patients can be given oral sedatives to relax. A pill or a liquid can be swallowed as early as one hour before the appointment. Another option is to provide a patient with Nitrous Oxide right before the procedure.
Both tend to keep patients conscious so they know what is going on around them. But thanks to the sedative’s effects, they are not bothered or fearful of what is taking place.
But if this is not enough, a patient may be sedated intravenously, or through IV. This can render the patient unconscious for the duration of the procedure.
Your Santa Cruz dentist understands that some patients look to dentist appointments with some form of dread. We provide several options to make their stay more comfortable so we can attend to their dental needs. If you find yourself feeling anxious about your next dental appointment, we may be able to help you. Just give us a call at 831-440-7577 and let us know how you feel so we can provide the right sedation for you.