Some people with dental anxiety are willing to live with intense pain, chronic bad breath, and missing teeth rather than see a dentist…simply because they’re that afraid.
Also, there’s often a measure of shame. Some are hesitant to admit that they’re afraid of the dentist and come up with a million excuses to hide the fact; by the time they need to see someone, they’re often too embarrassed about their teeth to let a professional examine them.
Do you suffer from an unspoken fear of the dentist?
You’re Not Alone
Dental fear can range from mild anxiety to phobia. An estimated 9-15% of Americans (up to 40 million) avoid the dentist because of such fear. Understanding how common it is may assure you that it’s normal to be afraid of the dentist.
How to Cure Fear of the Dentist
Consult a mental health professional. This is a practical step to take if you suffer from a serious phobia. Cognitive behavioral therapy or sessions with a counselor can help you learn to look at dental care in a new light.
Try sedation. Medication can help you relax during treatment and forget all about it. When sedation helps you get through one appointment, you’ll feel more optimistic about future trips to the dentist.
Distract yourself during treatment. Close your eyes. Listen to music. Apply essential oil like lavender for soothing aromatherapy. Some dentists even have televisions mounted on the ceiling!
Concentrate on the benefits of treatment. What are your smile goals? How can having healthier teeth improve your health, career, and social life? Motivation to reach your goals can help you rise above a fear of dentistry.
Talk with your dentist. Get to know your dentist as person away from the dental chair. Take the opportunity to express your concerns and learn how they can help you feel more comfortable. Finding an understanding dentist is often the most effective way to conquer your fear.
Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
When you think about it, the goal of dental sedation is to alleviate anxiety and dull sensitivity. Choosing sedation helps to relax your mind and allows you to tolerate treatment so that you get the professional care you need. It would be beside the point if the sedation were to cause you discomfort!
Prescription-strength syrups and pills are available from your dentist. You usually take the sedative medication a little while before your appointment and have a friend drive you to the office.
These drugs will put you in a relaxed dream-like state. You might even fall asleep during treatment!
Nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, is the simplest and safest form of sedation available. You simply breathe it in and enjoy the giggly effects almost instantly! The effects of this sedation are very light and are easily reversed.
Will Sedation Be Enough?
Maybe not. It depends on the treatment you need. Sedation will lower your awareness so that you are more comfortable, but it won’t make all the pain go away. You usually still need local anesthetic (numbing) during your visit.
Fortunately, the sedation will make it much easier to get an injection! You probably won’t feel the needle at all. And if you simply need some sedation to ease extreme anxiety during a non-invasive procedure (say, for a simple dental cleaning), then you won’t need a shot at all.
Some specialty offices do offer general (IV) sedation, but that’s usually reserved for complicated oral surgeries or lengthy procedures. Talk with your dentist about the sedation options available to improve your overall dental treatment experience.
Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
When the whole point of sedation dentistry is to help you be less afraid of dental care, it can sound a little strange to be afraid of the sedation part!
But don’t worry – it’s perfectly normal to be a bit anxious if it’s a new experience. The reality is that sedation could be the solution to your dental fears. Let’s take a minute to review what you can expect to experience.
Kinds of Sedation
General Sedation – This is the deepest level of sedation. You are out cold! This is not typically used for routine dental procedures. It’s usually only oral surgeons or anesthesiologists and their highly-qualified team that provide this sedation for advanced and lengthy operations.
Moderate Intravenous sedation – This is medication administered through an IV by a trained doctor. You will still be alert and able to respond to commands. This medication is adjusted according to your need.
Oral Sedation – Oral sedation has a minimal to moderate effect. It won’t put you out completely. You won’t remember much afterwards, but you’ll still be conscious for the procedure.
Nitrous Oxide – Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is instantly reversible and has no lasting effects. It helps you relax and is the safest method for kids.
How Sedation Helps
Sedation can help you to view dental care in a positive light. Ease your concerns further by communicating openly with dentist. Ask about which option right for you, how to prepare, and what safety precautions are in place. With a little planning, sedation in dentistry can be an extremely helpful tool and nothing to be afraid of!
Posted on behalf of:
Dona Prince, DDS
4220 Sergeant Rd #100
Sioux City, IA 51106
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