Reviewed by Dr. J. Travis Thompson, DDS

Feeling anxious before surgery is a typical response to an upcoming procedure. It’s natural to feel a mix of emotions, from fear of surgery to worry about the outcome. This anxiety can manifest both physically and mentally.

In this blog post, we will discuss some techniques and strategies to help reduce dental anxiety before oral surgery, helping you feel calmer and more in control.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Anxiety before surgery is common, but there are many ways to cope and manage it. Educate yourself about the procedure, practice relaxation techniques, stay physically active, and establish a support system. And don’t hesitate to talk to your oral surgeon about sedation options if needed.

What Is Surgery Anxiety and Fear?

Many people feel anxious and afraid before having surgery. They worry about the unknown, how much pain they will experience, and how it will affect their health and life. Surgery anxiety is a common issue, with studies showing that up to 80% of patients experience some level of anxiety before surgery.

Anxiety can vary in intensity, from mild nervousness to severe anxiety disorders that require professional intervention. It’s fueled by a lack of control over the situation and the inherent risks associated with any surgical intervention.

The Symptoms of Surgery Anxiety

Physical symptoms of surgery anxiety can include shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, sweating, nausea, and shaking. On the other hand, mental symptoms may manifest as feelings of worry or dread about the upcoming procedure. These symptoms can be overwhelming and interfere with daily life activities.

Some common physical signs that you may experience before surgery include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or upset stomach

Mental or emotional symptoms may include:

  • Excessive worrying
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability or restlessness

Tips and Techniques To Calm Anxiety Before Your Surgery

If you’re experiencing pre-surgery anxiety, there are many techniques and strategies you can use to help calm your nerves.

1. Educate Yourself

  • Ask questions: Talk to your oral surgeon, ask questions, and do your research. The more informed you are, the more in control you will feel.
  • Understand the steps: Knowing what will happen on the day of surgery and what to expect after can reduce fear of the unfamiliar environment.

Find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about oral surgery in our blog, “10 Questions to Ask Your Oral Surgeon Before Your Procedure.

2. Implement Relaxation Techniques

Practicing relaxation techniques can significantly lower preoperative anxiety levels. Consider incorporating the following into your routine:

  • Deep breathing: Deep breathing can help to calm your mind and body. Inhale slowly through your nose for four seconds, hold for seven seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth for eight seconds. Repeat this exercise several times until you feel calmer.
  • Meditation: Mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety. These techniques focus on calming the mind, slowing breathing, and relaxing the body.
  • Relaxation exercises: You can try many relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation or visualization. These exercises can help you relax your muscles and feel calm.
  • Listen to your favorite music: Music can be a powerful tool in reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. Create a playlist of your favorite calming songs to listen to before and after surgery.

3. Stay Physically Active

Engaging in gentle exercises, as approved by your healthcare provider, can improve your mental health and reduce anxiety symptoms. Physical activity helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate while promoting a positive mindset.

4. Establish a Support System

Having a strong support system can make a significant difference during times of anxiety. Reach out to friends and family for emotional support before and after surgery.

If your anxiety is severe and interfering with your daily life, consider seeking professional help. Therapy, counseling, or medication can be effective in managing surgery-related anxiety.

Talk to Your Oral Surgeon About Sedation

At Oral Facial & Implant Surgeons, we offer different types of sedation to make surgical procedures more comfortable for our anxious patients.

Oral Sedation

We offer oral sedation to patients who don’t want deep sedation during surgery. It is a prescribed medication taken an hour before surgery. Oral conscious sedation helps you relax, making your dental experience better.

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas,” is a mild sedative that induces relaxation and sometimes euphoria. It is administered through a mask, allowing you to breathe in the gas and feel its effects quickly. Nitrous oxide is safe for both children and adults, and there are no lingering effects after the procedure, which makes for an easy recovery.

IV Sedation (Intravenous)

Intravenous sedation offers a deeper relaxation state by administering a sedative directly into the bloodstream through a small needle that is connected to an IV bag. The sedative amount can be monitored and adjusted as needed throughout the procedure. IV sedation suits both minor and more complex surgeries, providing a comfortable experience where you may drift in and out of sleep or remain asleep throughout.

General Anesthesia

For those undergoing advanced surgeries or whose anxiety levels are not manageable with other sedation types, general anesthesia is available. You are in a deep sleep state throughout the procedure so that no pain or anxiety is felt. Like IV sedation, your vital signs are continuously monitored to maintain safety.

Visit Oral Facial & Implant Specialists for Oral Surgery in Deer Park, IL

Feeling anxious or fearful about visiting the dentist is natural, but it shouldn’t stand in the way of achieving the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve.

At Oral Facial & Implant Specialists, we know that the idea of oral surgery can cause worry and distress. Thanks to our advanced sedation techniques, we’re able to make sure that your procedure is smooth and painless. Contact us today to discuss your sedation options and learn how we can make your treatment a comfortable experience.

Whether you’re searching for a “sedation dentist in Deer Park” or an “oral surgeon near me,” we’re here to help. Call (847) 381-0106 or complete our online booking form for a consultation. We are excited to help you achieve a beautiful smile!

Skip to content