There are many reasons why patients avoid coming to the dentist, but fear and anxiety continue to top the list. Dental phobia is a very real condition. It can occur at various levels and be rooted in a wide range of issues. Regardless of why or how much you fear the dentist, it is important that you find a solution. Neglecting to get routine dental care can set you up for worsening cavities, progressive gum disease and even threats to your overall health.
The good news is that there is a very easy and effective solution for patients who have dental anxiety – sedation dentistry! Sedation dentistry can help those who have sweaty palms in the waiting room as well as patients who have a paralyzing fear of sitting in the dental chair. Depending on your personal preference and level of fear, you may choose oral conscious sedation (taking a sedative pill before you arrive) or nitrous oxide sedation (inhaling a colorless gas during your procedure).
Regardless of which form of sedation you choose, you can expect to feel fully relaxed during your time in the dental chair but still able to communicate with the dental staff if you choose. It is not the form of sedation that “puts you to sleep.” Many patients are aware of their surrounding but in a deep state of calmness. Some do not remember the actual procedure once it is done.
All forms of sedation dentistry are safe. Nitrous oxide is most popular, as it can be used for patients of all ages and there are no lingering side effects once the mask is removed.
Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You?
If anxiety or fear is holding you back from scheduling your dental appointment, ask about sedation dentistry. Here are some common reasons why people suffer from dental anxiety and greatly benefit from sedation dentistry:
- Fear of needles
- Fear of pain
- Aversion to sights, sounds or smells of dental office
- Fear of not being in control
- Bad dental experience as a child
- Severe gag reflex
- Lengthy or multi-step dental procedure
At Gilreath Family Dentistry, we can treat patients with dental phobia. In fact, we’ve built our practice around calming the most anxious child or adult. Ask us about our sedation dentistry options and we can determine which method is best for you. Your smile depends on it.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,