Does the thought of visiting the dentist freak you out? If so, you’re not alone. Studies show that 9 to 15 percent of Americans (over 30 million people) avoid going to the dentist because they suffer from some form of dental anxiety or phobia. Thankfully, there is a way for you to get the help you need with sedation dentistry. As you continue reading, your dentist will explain how it works.
What is Sedation (Anesthesiology) Dentistry?
Anesthesiology is the term given for the class of medication that is dedicated to pain relief and the total care of the patient during and after a surgical procedure is performed. Its primary purpose is to block the sensation of pain. It also can help to subdue your fears and allow you to better relax so that you can get the dental care that you need.
The Types of Sedation Dentistry Available
Your dentist offers three types of sedation, which include:
- Oral Sedation – If you have mild anxiety, this is a good option. You’ll take a pill before you leave your house to head in for a procedure, and by the time you arrive at your dentist’s office, you’ll be relaxed and ready to receive treatment. Another benefit is that the effects will usually have worn off by the time the procedure is done.
- Intravenous (IV) Conscious Sedation – Delivery via IV is recommended for patients whose anxieties may be a little more acute. It offers faster delivery and allows the dentist to monitor the level of medication the patient is receiving throughout the process.
- General Anesthesia – This method renders the patient completely unconscious and is recommended for very young or resistant children, people with phobias and special needs patients.
Now that you know what’s available to help in getting the dental care needed, you may be wondering where the apprehensions stem from that require these methods of relaxation.
Causes of Dental Anxiety or Phobia
Along with providing a means to overcome apprehensions, it helps to know more about why people dislike dental visits. Here are a few of the reasons why:
- Pain – In a survey of people who had not seen a dentist in at least 12 months, 6 percent said that fear of pain was the main reason. Ironically, some of the fears stem from stories that people have heard and not from actual experiences.
- Feeling Confined – Still, for others, the thought of being confined to a chair makes them feel helpless and vulnerable.
- Embarrassment – Failure to practice good oral care makes others more hesitant to visit the dentist. They fear being judged about any shortcomings.
- Bad Past Experiences – Not anxieties and phobias are based on hearsay. Some people have had bad experiences that have left them somewhat traumatized.
The good news is that sedation dentistry offers a way for all of them to receive the dental care they need.
To learn more about the process and how you can receive the dental care you need, in a comfortable way, reach out to your dentist today to schedule an appointment.
About the Author
For nearly four decades, Dr. Kerry G. Waldee has specialized in sedation, restorative, prosthetic and several other dental methods. After graduating from Loyola University of Chicago School of Dentistry, he went on to receive advanced IV sedation training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Waldee combines years of experience and compassion to deliver the best care to his patients at Sleep Dentists and can be reached for more information through his website.