If you are scared of going to the dentists, you are far from alone. For millions of people a trip to the dentist is a horror story, something that they get genuinely anxious, frightened and upset about. Yet, keeping our teeth healthy means dental appointments are essential throughout life from childhood onwards.
Dentophobia is, as we said, not uncommon, but what can be done about it? There is a routine known as sedation dentistry that is now used widely in the dental treatment world, so let’s have a look at what it’s all about and why nervous patients may want to consider it.
What are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?
So here’s a bit about sedation dentistry and what it is used for in general. Let’s say a patient visits a dentist for routine treatment. Perhaps they need their teeth cleaning, or a cap or filling. General anaesthetic is used only when absolutely necessary, and in these cases is certainly not an option. How does sedation dentistry help?
The idea of sedation dentistry is to relax the patient to a point they will be aware of the dentist and be able to talk to them. In other words, while it is sometimes known as ‘sleep dentistry’ the patient is actually awake, although perhaps not fully. Sedation can be administered in a variety of ways.
Some dentists allow the patient to repeatedly breathe in a sedative from a device containing it. Others issue a sedative pill that will soothe the patient and help keep them calm. However, the most effective method is to administer the sedative by way of an IV drip into the arm. This is carefully controlled and will calm the patient to the point they are awake, aware, but not entirely. They will come away from appointment having little recollection of what went on.
This safe, tried and tested routine of sedating patients makes life a lot easier for both patient and the dentist, and is rapidly becoming popular with patients who experience genuine and distressing anxiety before and during a dentist appointment. Should you consider sedation dentistry? Let’s look a bit more at why you may want to do so.
Overcoming your Dentophobia
The fear of dentists is something of an unusual one. Many believe that it stems from appointments in childhood when the child was unaware of what was going on. After all, having someone wearing a gown and brandishing strange instruments close up to your face is not far away from many a horror movie! That dentophobia lingers into adulthood is a recognised fact.
Sedation dentistry may seem to be a temporary fix – if a successful one – but in fact it can help the patient overcome their fear of dentists. This is because there is no longer the trauma associated with your last visit to the dentist, and you know the same will be the case with the next one. The sedation dentistry technique takes away the elements of fear and horror, and replaces them with a nice, calm and relaxed feeling that is an entirely different experience.
Talk to Your Dentist
Your initial step should be to talk to your dentist about your fear. They will do all they can to help patients who suffer from fear of the dentist, as their job is to make sure you keep your teeth healthy and strong. If you want to investigate sedation dentistry then you need to know if your dentist uses the technique, and if they think it will be suitable for you. Arrange an appointment to talk to them now, and start your journey to easier dentist appointments.
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