Our Process for Helping Patients with Dental Anxiety

How our dentists can help to overcome dental anxiety
Medical and dental professionals

Helping Patients with Dental Anxiety

Changing Dentistry, Changing Lives

We understand it could be intimidating to visit the dentist. It’s our focus to help our patients feel at ease and excited to get their smiles treated. Sit back and relax during your dental appointment and get treated by your compassionate dentist in Lincoln, NE.

Here we’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions regarding dental anxiety:

For so many patients, the dentist is something they avoid at all costs due to not having a dentist for dental anxiety or any dental anxiety management tools. Unfortunately, this avoidance can lead to cavities, periodontal (gum) disease, infection, or other dental problems.

Not only can opting out of dental visits lead to more dental issues, but it can also affect your overall health. Research has shown that there is a direct link to your dental health and oral health. In fact, because of the bacteria and infection present in patients with gum disease, there is a direct correlation between gum disease and heart disease. We feel that it’s important to answer as many questions as possible.

In addition to the questions above, we’ll also cover other topics including:

  • How do I overcome my fear of going to the dentist?
  • How does sedation dentistry work?
  • Does oral sedation really work?
  • How common is dental anxiety?

So, instead of letting your fear of going to the dentist in Lincoln, NE keep you from receiving the treatment you need, learn more about sedation dentistry and what it has to offer. With sedation dentistry, you can sit back, relax, and let us take great care of you. We can complete much of your needed treatment at once. This can all be done by your dentist for dental anxiety!

Sedation dentistry is typically indicated for lengthy procedures. We understand how difficult coming to the dentist can be when you have a dental phobia. So, we strive to accomplish as much as we can at each appointment. Sedation dentistry done by your “dentist near me in Lincoln, NE for dental anxiety” will allow you to relax even during an extended appointment fully.

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Who can benefit from sedation dentistry?

A Dentist For Dental Anxiety Explains…

Sedation dentistry can be used for any procedure. If you have one of the following situations, you may be a candidate for sedation dentistry:

  • Teeth that are extremely sensitive.
  • Strong gag reflex.
  • A fear of needles.

To determine whether you would be a candidate for sedation dentistry and to make a plan that is right for you, contact our office for a consultation today.

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How oral sedation works. A Dentist For Dental Anxiety Explains…

Oral sedation is a type of sedation dentistry taken in pill form. It is a normal anti-anxiety medication or mild sleeping pill. Most commonly, a pill is taken about an hour before the appointment. Some patients may start to feel drowsy on their way to receive treatment. Once the patient has arrived at the office, it is possible a second dose may be taken. While patients are technically awake, they are “out of it” and will most likely not remember the appointment. Patients can respond if we ask them to do something such as turning their head, but they are so relaxed – some will even take short naps throughout the procedure.

It is important to note that with sedation dentistry, a friend or family member will need to bring you to your appointment as well as be there to take you home.

While sedation dentistry is not a new concept, the options have broadened over the last few years. A patient who is comfortable and relaxed in the dental chair is our number one priority. That is why we continue to stay current on the newest advances in dental protocols, procedures, and of course, technology.

Our sleep dentistry pill, taken in a small dose, has been proven to help patients relax. This same drug has also helped create a procedure known as “sleep dentistry.” Not all patients sleep during the procedure, however. In fact, some patients stay awake and can respond to us, but do not care about or remember what is happening. The pill used for sedation dentistry in Lincoln, NE is considered to be the safest drug on a market for this purpose. This sedation pill will allow you to relax while receiving much needed dental treatment without fear or anxiety.

We have had many patients who were so fearful that they were in tears almost as soon as they entered the office. With the help of the sleep dentistry pill, these same patients were able to remain calm and receive the treatment they needed.

Even though we have a dentist in Lincoln, NE for dental anxiety and gentle dentists, we understand that previous dental trauma can cause high anxiety or dental phobia. Because of this, we sought a sedation dentistry solution that would benefit our patients and help tame those fears. As far as disadvantages are concerned, there is only one: as with almost any form of sedation dentistry, you will not be able to drive yourself to and from the procedure. Also, you will need to plan ahead for restrictions in daily activities. Most of our patients report going home and sleeping a good portion of the day, roughly four to five hours. In short, you should plan to be off of work for the rest of the day after your procedure. Once home, be sure to rest and limit your activities.

Even with being unable to drive and needing to take the remainder of the day off from work, sedation dentistry in Lincoln, NE is an extremely safe, easy option. If you have dental anxiety or dental phobia, call our office today to schedule an appointment! We would love to meet you and a dentist near me in Lincoln, NE for dental anxiety would love to help you.

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Dentist for Dental Anxiety:
Negative Experiences

You may have had a painful or bad experience at your previous dentist. It may have been a personal conflict with the dentist, another staff member, or even a painful procedure.

embarrassed patient dentist for dental anxiety

Dentist for Dental Anxiety:

You may be embarrassed by the condition of your smile. Years may have passed, and within that period, you neglected your teeth. Perhaps you are recovering from an addiction to soda, drugs, alcohol, or smoking. It is also possible you suffered from an eating disorder. Whether it be neglect, bad habits, or something else, we are very sensitive to patients’ feelings. We will never ridicule you or belittle you because of your dental health. We understand that time can slip by and before you know, it has been years since your last dental appointment.

Ultimately, we are always glad when a patient does make an appointment. It shows that they are ready to improve their dental health. Whether you need a dental cleaning or are interested in replacing silver fillings, our team can help. Seeing us is the first step in creating a healthier mouth.

Learn more from a dentist near me about the replacement of silver fillings.

dental tools and embarrassed patient dentist for dental anxiety

Dentist for Dental Anxiety:
Dental Instruments

Dental instruments can look very intimidating. Perhaps you have a fear of dental instruments or a fear of having them placed in your mouth. For you, this may cause anxiety, breathing difficulties, or a gag reflex. Our team uses the latest technology to make sure your dental visit is as enjoyable as possible.

Curious about trying new or different products at home?

Learn more from our dentist in Lincoln, NE about trending dental products.

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Dentist for Dental Anxiety:
Uncaring, Insensitive Dentists

You may have had a dentist in Lincoln, NE or nearby in your past that was unsympathetic to your needs or one who was not a dentist for dental anxiety. In many cases, experiences with an uncaring dentist can deter you or any patient from returning regularly, if ever at all.

fear of the unknown patient dentist for dental anxiety

Dentist for Dental Anxiety:
Fear of the Unknown

Many patients did not grow up going to the dentist and in some cases, have never been to a dentist in Lincoln, NE. If this is true for you, the dental anxiety may come from a fear of the unknown.

Dental anxiety or dental phobia is a common problem that affects nearly one in five adults. If there is one thing we want all anxious patients to know, it is that you are not alone. Please do not feel embarrassed. There are many compassionate and empathetic dentists, many of which can be found right here at Nebraska Family Dentistry. A dentist for dental anxiety who is committed to taking care of anxious patients.

Patients with dental anxiety are often so fearful they have delayed treatment for years. As a result, their oral hygiene suffers leading to gum disease, tooth infection, abscesses, or cavities. Through research, we now know, that inflammation in the mouth that is left untreated spreads throughout the body. This can leave patients more susceptible to heart disease, low birth weight babies (in pregnant patients), uncontrolled diabetes, kidney disease, and other inflammatory or autoimmune conditions. It is essential to see a dentist in Lincoln, NE or, if necessary, a dentist for dental anxiety regularly to address your oral health as well as your overall health.

We have noticed anxious patients may differ in the degree or extent of anxiety they may have to treatment as well as what triggers this anxiety. However, we have found that talking about it before starting any treatment and developing a custom plan to help manage it, is the most critical first step for every anxious patient. Always seek out a dentist who will listen to your concerns and offer a variety of options.

Typically, a past bad dental experience can be as simple as a smell or a sound from the dental office. More severe concerns could be about having a strong gag reflex or even a fear of not being in control. Another big concern for many is that they have a needle phobia.

Having a needle phobia is more common than most people realize, and understandably so. Many people associate needles with pain. With pain comes an uncomfortable feeling that in and of itself causes anxiety. At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we take all fears and concerns, including a fear of needles also known as a needle phobia, very seriously. Let’s talk a little bit more about a needle phobia.

While it is not easy to help anyone overcome a needle phobia, we can do it. We have proven techniques that have been successful in helping many patients. Generally, a needle phobia begins at an early age, and therefore, often proves very difficult to overcome. Do know, however, that it’s not impossible. We always start with education. Education is essential in every dental clinic at Nebraska Family Dentistry.

In short, education helps gain the trust of patients. Explaining things can help anyone see that we understand their condition. Most importantly, they can see that we know the best options for treatment. We always explain each option in detail, and if someone is a good candidate, the possibility of sedation or sleep dentistry. Our team and dentist in Lincoln, NE for dental anxiety at Nebraska Family Dentistry will always explain things a straightforward, easy-to-understand manner. Also, we give each patient time to ask any questions that they may have.

Letting our patients know that what they have to say is important, helps everyone, including those who have a needle phobia. While it may seem strange, some people experience a needle phobia simply because they may feel that their concerns are not heard and that their feelings are dismissed. Rest assured that no one on our team will ever discount your feelings. We understand that having a needle phobia can be very severe. We want the absolute best for you. Our goal is to make sure that your experience far exceeds your expectations.

Using new products and technology, along with gentle techniques, and a team of well-trained professionals, we are always able to ensure the comfort of our patients. We offer things such as blankets, television with headphones, or even the opportunity to listen to your favorite music.

How can we inspire those who have a needle phobia? Initially, we always apply a topical anesthetic in the form of a numbing gel in the area the anesthetic is to be administered. We are also sure to administer numbing medication in such a way so that we minimize the pressure. Injecting anesthetic slowly allows the medication to disperse within the surrounding tissues. When injected very quickly, this can cause a great deal of pressure, and generally becomes very uncomfortable.

Even after education, we know that many patients are still nervous about receiving injections. We will continue to understand your fears as a dentist for dental anxiety. We will walk you through every step. Allowing open communication shows our patients that they are in control. At any time during a procedure, our patients can ask questions or take breaks. Our team will provide compassion and positive reinforcement throughout every procedure while continuing to maintain your comfort. Making sure our patients are comfortable, is always sure to ease a great deal of anxiety. Here is just one example of how we helped someone overcome their needle phobia from your dentist in Lincoln, NE for dental anxiety.

James testimonial patient on dentist for dental anxiety

James’s Testimonial:

“When I walked into South Lincoln Family Dentistry, I had not been to a dental clinic in years. I was nervous and scared and I had an extreme fear of needles that before was not taken seriously. I expressed my concerns to the dental team, and to my surprise, they listened. They helped me every step of the way and made sure I understood my treatment and the procedure. Even though they answered all of my questions before, I was still nervous about my injection. Looking back, I have no idea why I was scared. They were fabulous. I did not feel a thing. It was so easy. The best part is, now I have a healthy mouth again. Thank you!”

We know how severe any fear can be, especially a needle phobia. While you may have been to a dental clinic before that didn’t take your concerns or needle phobia seriously, we do. Also, we understand the feelings that are associated with being scared. Our promise is to help guide you so that you can conquer your fears. There is no mountain too big. South Lincoln Family Dentistry takes each concern you have and uses them as a tool for creating the absolute best experience. We do not judge anyone. Likewise, we are a dental clinic that will understand your needs, address your concerns, and provide the care you deserve!

Also, we feel that all patients, even those without dental anxiety or a needle phobia, deserve an easy-to-understand, well-educated reason to support their need for any treatment. Delivering education to help everyone understand what we are doing or what needs to be done, is something that comes naturally. It’s simple. After all, you have made time for us, and we feel taking a few extra minutes to set your mind at ease is the least we can do.

dental anxiety and needle phobia patient dentist for dental anxiety

Some patients aren’t always sure what causes their anxiety. For many, it could be a combination of things. The following are common things that trigger anxiety in patients and things we can do to help you manage it:

  1. If placing dental instruments in your mouth causes you anxiety, this may trigger a gag reflex or create an anxious feeling. This uneasy feeling could make you feel as though you are having difficulty breathing. At our office, we use a device called an Isolite, which protects your tongue and helps prevent and control your gag reflex.
  2. If you have had an experience with an unsympathetic dentist, or did not see a dentist in Lincoln, NE for anxiety, you may fear that your concerns will be ignored or go unnoticed. We will always explain everything we do before we do it. Some patients often need a different approach or even a little more time to complete their treatment. More time and a different approach may be all that it takes to help you address your concerns and or manage your anxiety. Find a dentist who is willing to listen to your concerns, and help you manage them.
  3. Many anxious patients, as discussed earlier, are concerned about getting numb for a procedure. This is also known as needle phobia. With the help of special gels and creams, we can help you feel comfortable long before ever using a needle. There are also excellent distraction techniques we can use to help minimize pressure and reduce sensitivity. A dentist for dental anxiety often knows a few extra tricks to help you overcome any fears.
  4. Many patients say that being in a comfortable atmosphere surrounded by caring people is also soothing. Thus, helping them feel more at ease. We offer items such as blankets, pillows, headphones with television, and several breaks. All of these things will help ensure your comfort. You are in control of your dental treatment. Your comfort is our priority. You will know this from the moment you enter our office. Our friendly team will greet you at the front desk. From there, we will maintain your comfort throughout your entire appointment. Afterward, you will leave with a care package and instructions to help promote proper healing of your new treatment. We want you to get back to your routine as quickly as possible.
  5. Some patients still find they need extra help feeling comfortable the day of treatment. Those patients elect to do sleep dentistry. Sleep dentistry is an excellent option for the most anxious patients. Remember, don’t feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about discussing your dental anxiety. There are many dental providers out there like Nebraska Family Dentistry, who use different proven techniques. These techniques include sleep dentistry to make sure you have the most comfortable experience possible. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a patient who comes in anxious, gradually overcome that fear. In the end, they become an empowered, confident patient with a healthy mouth!
dr barth interacting with patient

At South Lincoln Family Dentistry we are creating positive experiences for patients simply by being aware of their five senses.

What is it about the whole dentist thing that frightens patients? Is it the atmosphere with all those surgical looking instruments or the hospital style uniforms and masks that we wear? Maybe it’s the fact that they call it a dental SURGERY? Whether it’s one of the above, or all of the above, the reality is that they may all play a very significant role in your experience at the dental office. Often, the importance of the environment is overlooked. For most people and maybe even you, the environment can set the tone for the entire visit. Ultimately, this can determine the overall outcome of your entire appointment.

At South Lincoln Family Dentistry, we try to create a dental practice that appeals to everyone, including and especially, those who have a deep-seated fear of dental treatment.

To do so, a dentist in Lincoln, NE for dental anxiety has to understand the factors behind the triggers of anxiety-laden events. The primary senses, including seeing, touching, smelling, hearing, and tasting all play a role in informing a person of their current surroundings. The unconscious mind interprets the information, and a person responds accordingly with feelings and emotions.

Smiling woman who is curious about oral sedation dentistry in Lincoln, NE.

Answers to commonly asked questions regarding

dental anxiety

What helps with dental anxiety?

Oral sedation often helps with dental anxiety. Typically, if it is determined that you are a good candidate for sedation dentistry, you will be prescribed a single dose to take approximately one hour before your appointment.

What are some symptoms of dental anxiety?

Although everyone is different some of the more common symptoms of dental anxiety include sweating, racing heart, visible distress, signs of panic, crying, and low pressure to name a few.

What is the difference between dental anxiety and dental phobia?

Dental phobia is more severe than dental anxiety. Dental phobia is a feeling of being completely terrified and overwhelmed simply by the thought of visiting the dentist.

Image of Dr. Christine Bergman at South Lincoln Family Dentistry in Lincoln, NE.

The information on this page was written by Dr. Christine Bergman.

This gentle dentist in Lincoln, NE says: “I am extremely privileged to be part of this amazing profession. I find there is nothing that is more rewarding than helping my patients learn how to care for their smiles in addition to becoming healthier overall. I feel patients deserve personalized dental care. Therefore, quality dental care is my number one goal. While providing top-notch dental care for you, I want your dental experience to be positive and comfortable.

You can schedule with this Lincoln, NE dentist, or her partners, online 24/7 at a South Lincoln Family Dentistry location near you. This “dentist near me” serves the local communities close to Lincoln. Some of the communities include Roca, Bennet, Firth, Crete, and Hickman!

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