Are you one millions of Americans that have anxiety about visiting the dentist? Don’t let it become a reason to let your oral health suffer. Though daily brushing and flossing are critical practices for protecting your teeth, regular cleanings and checkups are important when it comes to avoiding more invasive treatments like root canals and tooth extractions.

If your oral anxiety is keeping you away from the dentist, consider talking to your doctor about oral anxiolysis. Typically, doctors will prescribe anti-anxiety pills that can help you feel more comfortable and relaxed in the dentist chair. Lengthy treatments can be handled in just one session, where otherwise your anxiety may have required you to break it up into several appointments.

The types of pills often prescribed for oral anxiolysis range in effectiveness. Some are strong enough to induce drowsiness and can even cause patients to fall asleep, whereas others merely calm the patient for a few hours. Depending on your level of anxiety, your doctor has a number of choices when it comes to which specific pill to take.

Not all patients are good candidates for these types of pills, however. If you have heart or liver problems, anti-anxiety pills can have adverse effects. Be sure your doctor knows about any conditions, including depression, that may be important to their decision regarding your prescription. There are also known complications with other drugs so always disclose everything else you’re taking when you speak with your doctor.

Anxiety about seeing the dentist shouldn’t keep you from keeping regular appointments and getting your teeth cleaned professionally. If anxiety is preventing you from maintaining your ideal oral health, make an appointment with your doctor today.

About the Author

Dr. Harris has been a practicing dentist since 2005. In 2012, he received his Master’s of Science in Dentistry and a certificate in Endodontics. He founded East Coast Endodontics shortly after receiving his master’s degree. He also currently holds a part-time position as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Endodontics department at Virginia Commonwealth University. View his full bio.