Lansing's Dental Discussion

Posts for category: Relaxation

By The office of Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler
April 03, 2013
Category: Relaxation
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Don’t Fear the Dentist, Learn to Overcome Your Dental Anxiety

    Some people do not look forward to dental appointments.  However, it is important to understand that most dental procedures are not painful.  Instead, just being examined can make people feel stressed and uneasy about their trip to the dentist.  If you fear the dentist, you are not alone. What is important is that there is nothing to fear about going to the dentist for check-ups and procedures because advancements in dentistry allow your dentist to provide the care you need without the pain and discomfort that you may be afraid of. Today, procedures are easy to perform and you will exhibit minimal to no pain at all.


Why do I have a Dental Anxiety?

    The causes of dental anxieties are numerous and include factors both related and unrelated to dentistry.  Past experiences will also influence the anxiety you may feel.  This not only includes physically painful dental visits and treatments, but also psychologically uncomfortable experiences, such as being humiliated by dental professionals, family, friends or others.   Be assured that Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler can help you overcome your anxiety over past dental experiences.  Her team of caring professionals will make you feel at ease every step of the way.

    Some patient’s fear of going to the dentist or getting dental procedures done is so severe that they may lose sleep at night and worry excessively about what might happen at the dentist’s office.  Dental anxiety is common and it is stated that up to 15 percent of Americans avoid seeing a dentist due to their fear. 

Some other reasons contributing to dental anxiety and dental phobia include:

  • Fear of pain
  • Feelings of helplessness and loss of control
  • Embarrassment or shame about the look and condition of the teeth, as well as the fearful behavior itself.
  • Past bad experiences, which includes physically painful dental visits, but also psychologically uncomfortable experiences.
  • History of abuse
  • Observational or vicarious learning
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Fear of needles
  • Hopelessness that neglect or the condition has made it too late to do anything
  • Adverse effects of medication or their ineffectiveness in providing relief from anxiety and pain


How do I overcome my Dental Anxiety?

    If you have a dental anxiety, you should always communicate with your dentist.  The best thing you can do to get over your dental anxiety is to talk with your dentist about it.  If you are anxious about something, come right out and talk to Dr.Holly Scott-Hetchler about it because she will take the time to hear your fears and help make you comfortable.  We offer many options such as relaxation gas or oral medications to calm your nerves.

During a procedure, talk with your hands.  It is often difficult to speak with your mouth while you are undergoing treatment, so talk to your dentist before your procedure on how you will communicate if a problem arises or you feel discomfort.  A simple raise of the hand could signal discomfort, allowing your dentist to adjust the anesthesia appropriately.  Additionally, you can benefit from distracting yourself.  Let your mind wander and try focusing on another thought or a feature that stands out in the office.  Letting your mind wander can help ease some of your anxiety. 

Talk to Dr. Holly Scott-Hetchler for more information on how to eliminate your dental anxiety so that you can receive the care you need once and for all.  

By The Office of Dr. Holly Scott- Hetchler
February 19, 2012
Category: Relaxation
Tags: Untagged

Laugh it Off: Ease Your Dental Fears with Nitrous Oxide

Being afraid of the dentist is normal, but your fears should never prevent you from receiving the care your teeth and gums deserve to prevent dental diseases and other oral health issues. There are a variety of stepsDr. Holly Scott-Hetchler can take to minimize anxiety and discomfort while you’re undergoing treatment in the her chair.

Start with open and honest communication with our office. Once we are aware of your concerns, she can tailor your treatment plan for optimal comfort. You should also find ways to distract yourself during an appointment.  Music players are great to help you take your mind off of the procedure at hand.

When these basic tips for easing your dental fears aren’t enough to relieve your misgivings, ask Dr. Scott-Hetchler about sedation dentistry.  Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is the most commonly employed technique used in conscious sedation dentistry and has been used for many years by dentists to help patients feel relaxed and stress-free throughout treatment.


What is Nitrous Oxide?

Nitrous oxide is one of several sedation dentistry options available to significantly reduce your fears and discomfort.It’s safe and easy to administer, and often takes effect within minutes.

Laughing gas is most effective in the management of mild to moderate cases of dental anxiety. It is also a great method for people with severe gag reflexes.  Under the supervision of a sedation dentist, the patient remains conscious, responsive and able to breathe on his or her own, which is a major advantage of laughing gas.  In addition, a local anesthetic may be administered to reduce and control pain. Patients  often recover quickly following the procedure. Both the patient and the dentist benefit from the patient’s reduced fears.

Why Nitrous Oxide May Be a Good Option for You

If your dental fears get in the way of your oral health, you may be a candidate for nitrous oxide. There are many benefits of laughing gas, including:

  • Proven safe and effective for mild to moderate dental anxiety
  • Fast-acting with few side effects
  • Patient can return to normal activities almost immediately
  • Most dental work can be completed in one visit
  • In many cases the fully-recovered patient is permitted to leave the appointment unescorted


Don’t let your fears get in the way of your dental health. You have options. Talk to Dr. Scott-Hetchler in Lansing, MI about methods we use for easing nervous patients.  

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Holly A. Scott-Hetchler DDS, PC 919 Chester RdLansing, MI 48912