Ask the Doctor: Nerves at the Dentist

I really don’t like visiting the dentist. Is there anything you can do to help me relax?

A. Just like it’s important for you to know your dentist’s treatment goals for any procedure, it’s important for your dentist to understand your fears and concerns. If your dentist knows you’re feeling anxious, he or she can offer different options for sedation to help you be more at ease during treatment. Common anxiety-reducing methods in dentistry include oral sedation or nitrous oxide (inhalation sedation); however, if you have a high level of anxiety, these may not be the best options for you as they are less predictable and may not achieve your desired level of sleepiness. Intravenous (IV) sedation, which can induce a deeper relaxed state, is often best for patients who are deeply apprehensive and unable to tolerate dental work while fully alert. Your dentist can complete routine dental care (e.g., fillings, crowns, root canal therapy, extractions) while you are comfortably sedated. Afterward, you can resume normal activity as early as the next day.

Karl Meyer, DDS, MD
Oral Surgeon
East Brainerd Oral Surgery
Located in East Brainerd at 1350 Mackey Branch Rd.