When it comes to phobias, dentophobia, which is the fear of going to the dentist, and dental anxiety are some of the most common. In fact, it’s estimated that around 75 percent of people suffer from some degree of anxiety and fear when it comes to the dentist, which is why it’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. These fears and anxieties can be triggered by anything such as the dentist themselves, the sound of the tools, or even just sitting in the chair.
However, avoiding the dentist due to these fears can lead to greater issues such as tooth decay and disease, which is why it’s so important to consider treatments for your dental anxiety, including dental sedation.
How Can I Treat My Dental Anxiety?
There are many options for treating dental anxiety. First, if you speak to either your dentist or doctor about your anxieties and fears, they may prescribe you an anxiety medication to help you relax before your procedure. You can also try more holistic methods such as meditation or progressive muscle relaxation. If none of these work for you, however, you may want to look into dental sedation.
What is Dental Sedation?
If a patient is nervous, a dentist may use dental sedation to help them relax. This involves the administration of medicine that can either help a patient relax or even put them to sleep completely.
What Are the Types of Dental Sedation?
There are four main types of dental sedation.
Minimal sedation, also known as laughing gas, won’t put you to sleep, but it will help you relax. This is the most common form of dental sedation.
Moderate sedation also won’t put you to sleep, but it may impair you and cause you to slur your speech even after the procedure.
In deep sedation, the third type of dental sedation, you may be dozing off, but you are able to be awakened at any time.
The final type of dental sedation is called general anesthesia. This is when you are completely asleep. Most dentists don’t offer this option in their offices, so you’ll have to schedule a special appointment.
All of these types of sedation can be administered in various ways, from an IV to a gas. After you and your dentist decide which one will work best for you and your procedures, it’s important to thoroughly go over the pros and cons so you can work to better prepare yourself to go under.
What Are the Pros of Sedation Dentistry?
The most obvious benefit of dental sedation is that you will feel more relaxed for your procedure.
You’ll also save time. The less time you spend being anxious, the less time it will take for your dentist to work. This means that they’ll be able to get you in and out, which means less time you’ll have to stress.
In some cases, dental sedation can also help reduce any pain you may feel during your procedure. This, of course, depends on the type of sedation used.
What Are the Cons of Dental Sedation?
While sedation may seem like the perfect solution for your dental anxiety, there are a few cons that you will need to keep in mind.
First, dental sedation isn’t free. If finances or insurance are an issue for you, the cost of sedation is something to consider.
Also, depending on your dosage, you may be physically impaired after your procedure. This means that you will be unable to work or drive, and you’ll need someone to help you afterward.
Like any medication, different people will be affected in different ways by dental sedation. While it is safe most of the time, there are times when the dose isn’t right. A dose too weak won’t ease your anxiety, and a dose too strong can be dangerous. Again, though, this is extremely rare. Your dentist has gone through nearly a decade of school, and he/she, along with his/her staff are well trained.
How Can I Prepare for Undergoing Sedation?
The best way to prepare for sedation is by doing your research. You can also talk to your dentist about what to expect. Your dentist is extremely knowledgeable, and is there so that you can ask questions. It’s as important to him/her as it is to you that you are comfortable and anxiety-free during your visit.
Even if you plan to use dental sedation, practicing other holistic tips, such as the ones mentioned above can help. This will help you remain calm even before the sedation is administered, making for a more comfortable experience.
If you’re interested in learning more about dental sedation for your next appointment, or if you’re ready to schedule an appointment since you know how to better manage your dental anxiety, contact our practice today or give us a call at (614) 333-9442.
Does the dentist seem scarier than a horror movie monster? Would you rather do just about anything other than book a dental appointment? Does the thought of drilling make you want to hide under the covers? And does something as simple as a fluoride treatment give you flashbacks of past fear?
If you have a fear of the dentist, trust that you are not alone in your anxiety. Many people of all ages experience dentophobia – millions, in fact – but this does not mean you should skip seeing the dentist for good. It is totally understandable that a visit to the dentist of any sort may bring about an uneasy feeling or even a paralyzing fear. The “what ifs” of the unknown are not always easy to engage with, so thoughts of what’s to come can be daunting.
Even if a patient personally likes their dentist, the idea of scheduling a cleaning can throw them into shivers. From basic checkups to serious dental procedures, patients who fear the dentist just don’t want to deal with any of it. But avoiding the dentist is a bad idea, as you surely understand. Sure, the fear is real, but the repercussions will be far worse if you avoid oral care at all costs.
Your anxiety may be causing you to put off oral exams and cleanings, and leading you to pretend issues in your mouth are not really there. But we all know that this avoidance won’t benefit you in the long run.
You can overcome your fear of the dentist. Dr. Barry and Dr. Love will be by your side every step of the way doing all they can to make every appointment less nerve-wracking and more comfortable. It may take a bit of time before you are totally at ease in the dentist’s chair, but with every visit, your anxiety will diminish. Before long, a visit to the dentist will be a piece of cake! Just brush your teeth after enjoying a slice…
I am deathly afraid to visit the dentist. Do you offer sedation dentistry to help me get through it?
Dental sedation is one tried-and-true way to make your visit as stress-free as possible. We understand and empathize with your concerns and fears and want to make your exam or procedure as pleasant as it can be. The fact that you want to come in and are seeking a solution is a brave step in a positive direction. We offer sedation dentistry at Lifetime Dental Health to address these issues and get you through your visit fear-free.
What type of sedation dentistry do you offer?
Good news! Here at Lifetime Dental Health, our sedation dentistry is needle/shot-free! No worries about pain to relieve your stress…something that could add another layer of anxiety onto an already anxious state of mind. Rather than administering shots, we use pills to put you at ease instead. You will take an oral sedation pill about one hour prior to your visit. It’s as simple as that. This pill is meant to make you relax and feel more comfortable by the time you arrive at the office. Make sure you have a friend or family member who can drive you to your appointment! You won’t be totally out of it or unconscious after the pill kicks in, just groggy to a degree. You will have no problem communicating with the dentist, so you needn’t worry about not being able to speak or address any mid-procedures worries. The pill just calms you down and makes things more mellow. Your fear will lessen, and you’ll be calmer the whole time. We will carefully monitor your vital signs during your entire appointment, just to be sure your oral sedation medications are working effectively and your body is functioning normally. The pill seems like a miracle, but it’s real and reliable. You can trust that you’ll be less anxious and ready to face your appointment head-on.
Am I a good candidate for sedation dentistry? What sorts of issues is it best for?
There are a bunch of reasons patients fear the dentist, and every patient is unique in their trepidations. Most commonly, sedation dentistry is recommended for the following reasons:
Overall anxiety/fear surrounding dentist visits
Dislike of noises, equipment, smells, and other dentist-associated elements
Sensitive gag reflex/trouble keeping the mouth open for extended periods of time
Issues with becoming numb with the use of local anesthetic
Super sensitive teeth
Major dental work is needed a/long appointment
Aids in overall comfort during the visit
The next time you feel too fearful to come in for your dental appointment, communicate with our dentists, and we’ll work out something for you. Sedation dentistry is a successful way to overcome dentophobia. We’re not as scary as you think!