I’m so scared of the dentist, I may cancel my mission trip!

It’s always been my dream to do mission work. I finally have my chance and will be going with a group to Haiti to help with building projects and work with children in an orphanage for several months. The trip doesn’t scare me at all — it’s what I have to do before I even go!  The mission group I am traveling with has very strict medical guidelines and I need a clean bill of health before we leave. I’m not worried about going to the doctor, but I also have to go to the dentist and have my teeth checked –and that scares me to death! I’m on the verge of canceling the trip altogether just because of a stupid dental appointment. I need help! — Marvin

This sounds like an amazing opportunity and it’s a shame that one dental visit is holding you back from completing your mission. While most of us can certainly say we don’t look forward to going to the dentist, there are millions of Americans like you who suffer from serious anxiety that keeps them from even walking into a dental office. It can be detrimental not only to your dental health, but your overall health as well.

So what can you do? Find the right dentist! Many advertise that they “caters to cowards” and in general terms that means they offer sedation. It also means their staff has training in treating patients with fear or anxiety and will do everything they can to provide an atmosphere that is calm and gentle.

Sedation dentistry is a safe, effective way to achieve comfort and relaxation during dental procedures. It can be as simple as a little laughing gas to help you relax or your dentist can prescribe a pill to take before your appointment. Once the pill takes effect, you will still be conscience, but so relaxed that you’ll likely not remember much if anything about your appointment.

You’re about to embark on a trip to help others and it’s important to take care of yourself so that you can be healthy and focused. Don’t let a little dental anxiety derail your dreams of mission work. Good luck!

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Alana Macalik. For more information on the services she provides, visit her Arlington cosmetic dentist website.