Different people feel different levels of anxiety surrounding dental care. Some people have no fear and actually enjoy getting their teeth cleaned. Other people may experience anxiety or have trouble sleeping the night before an appointment, but ultimately they’ll visit the dentist. The most extreme category of people has a dental phobia that prevents them from getting the care they need.
Some people scream when they see spiders, and others are terrified of heights. But what if your biggest fear was visiting the dentist?
Just thinking of the scraping and the saliva filling up your mouth might be enough to send you running from the dentist’s reclining chair.
Dental phobias and fear of pain may be keeping some of you from the dental chair, but your oral health is too important to overlook. Luckily, certain dental offices have an answer for patients with extreme dental phobias.
Dental care is a little easier to handle with the help of sedation. We offer patients several sedation options, including intravenous sedation, oral sedation and nitrous oxide gas. Our dentists will work with you to determine which option is best for the patient and the procedure.
Sometimes IV sedation is called “sleep dentistry,” though you will not actually be sleeping. Instead, you’ll be immensely relaxed, but conscious. With IV sedation, you’ll need assistance to and from our offices, and you’ll need a friend or family member to supervise you for several hours afterward. Even hearing the phrase “root canal” can frighten some hypersensitive people, and if you’re one of them, call our staff to inquire about sedation options.
Oral sedation can help patients with extreme dental anxiety. Oral sedation might be best for you if you’re uncomfortable with needles. We administer oral sedation as a pill that you would take before your appointment. Oral sedation allows you to slip into a deeply tranquil state while remaining conscious, similar to IV sedation. Make sure to secure a ride to and from your appointment.
We also offer the option of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is milder than IV and oral sedation, and it’s completely safe, even for children.
“It has a rapid onset, is reversible, can be adjusted in various concentrations and is non-allergenic. Your child remains fully conscious – keeps all natural reflexes – when breathing nitrous oxide/oxygen,” according to information provided by The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Talk with your dentist about IV sedation, oral sedation and nitrous oxide if you or your child feels uneasy about your next dental procedure. Don’t let your fears of the periodontal scaler keep you from a clean, healthy mouth.