The American Dental Association recommends getting a routine dental checkup and cleaning at least twice a year. While this is a simple task for many people, it can be quite a problem if you suffer from dental anxiety in Bloomington. Letting fear or worry keep you from caring for your smile regularly can easily lead to much larger, more painful, and more expensive issues down the road. Thankfully, there are treatments that can help you feel significantly more relaxed and at-ease throughout your dental appointment. Read on to learn more about how to overcome your dental anxiety for the sake of your oral health.
The Importance of Regular Checkups
You may not be thrilled to see your dentist every six months, but routine dental checkups play a major role in your oral health. Issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections can easily develop and progress without you noticing. Your dentist is trained to identify early warning signs in your mouth that you may not see or feel yet. Regular visits allow them to routinely check on your oral health and prevent any unnecessary damage or discomfort.
Despite the benefits of biannual dental checkups, you may have a difficult time committing to them if you suffer from dental anxiety. That’s why your Bloomington dentist offers several services to help you feel as comfortable as possible whenever you sit in the examination chair.
Who Can Benefit from Sedation Dentistry?
A commonly used method to help patients feel more at-ease during treatment is a form of sedation dentistry called nitrous oxide sedation. It earned its nickname as laughing gas due to the euphoric, light, and worry-free feelings it provides people with. This convenient method takes effect quickly and wears off right away so the rest of your day won’t be impacted, but it’s powerful enough to calm your nerves during treatment. It’s a great option for those who have:
- Moderate dental anxiety
- Sensitive teeth, gums, or gag reflex
- Difficulty numbing with local anesthesia alone
What Is the BarCalm System?
If you need help overcoming your dental anxiety but don’t want to be sedated, the BarCalm system may be right for you. This unique relaxation method from your Bloomington dentist utilizes neuroscience instead of medication to deactivate the brain’s stress reaction. It’s comprised of three parts:
- Light-blocking eye mask: You may instinctively tense up in response to the bright lights or dental tools used during your appointment. Simply preventing yourself from seeing these triggers can help you feel less anxious throughout your treatment.
- Noise-canceling headphones: To further disconnect you from sensory information that may cause you anxiety, noise-canceling headphones can be used to mute the whir of machines, hiss of the suction tube, and any other sounds you may find uncomfortable.
- Anti-stress music: Instead of the sounds of the dental office, you’ll be listening to carefully selected anti-stress music. Studies show that relaxing music can reduce your production of stress hormones and alter brainwave activity to encourage feelings of calmness and peacefulness.
Your Bloomington dentist cares about more than just your smile—they care about your mental and emotional wellbeing too. They are willing to go above and beyond to make you comfortable during your appointment, so don’t be shy or ashamed to tell them about your dental anxiety so they can help.
About the Author
Dr. Martin Barco has been serving Bloomington, IN and the surrounding communities for over 20 years now. He is passionate about making optimal oral health an attainable goal for everyone, which is why he is proud to offer services like nitrous oxide sedation and the BarCalm system. These methods combined with state-of-the-art equipment and his years of experience ensure that your appointment goes as smoothly as possible. If you’d like to learn more about overcoming your dental anxiety, he encourages you to reach him via his website or at (812) 332-8290.