Do you feel anxiety or fear when you think about going to the dentist? Well, you’re not alone. Fear of the dentist is so widespread that there’s even a word for it—odontophobia.
Nowadays dentistry can be almost entirely pain-free. But long-standing fears can be hard to overcome, whether they are well-grounded or not.
Why do people have anxieties about going to the dentist? Here are a few reasons. Maybe you see yourself in this list:
- Fear it will be painful.
- Fear of needles.
- Fear of being uncomfortable having to sit in a dental chair for an extended period of time.
- Memories of being uncomfortable or frightened, or of having had some other bad experiences on past visits to a dentist.
- Fear of not understanding and not being in full control of what is happening to you.
- Fear that dental treatment will take more time than you can spare.
- Past experience of traditional anesthesia not working for you.
Unfortunately, your anxiety about visiting the dentist can have serious consequences if it causes you to put off regular check-ups and dental cleanings. If you wait until a problem is at an advanced stage and impossible to ignore before you have it addressed, you’re actually opening yourself up to more discomfort, and certainly more cost, than if you caught and took care of an issue early.
So what can you do?
Dr. Nancy Nguyen respects your dental anxiety and would like to address it constructively by introducing you to the concept of sedation dentistry.
Delicate Dental Arts offers multiple options for sedation during dental care. Dr. Nguyen will be glad to go over them with you and help you decide which choice will best enable you to receive the dental treatment you need in a gentle and pain-free way.
A form of dental sedation that many patients choose is oral sedation. They find that taking a mild sedative before their dental appointment relaxes them and reduces any worry or anxiety they might otherwise have.
Oral sedation is often the best option for patients with mild to moderate anxiety or discomfort, but for patients with more intense anxiety or fear of the dentist, Dr. Nguyen may suggest IV sedation. While in the dental chair you will receive a liquid sedative through an IV tube. The amount of sedative can be increased or decreased as necessary to keep you as comfortable as possible throughout your visit.
Safe and Effective Treatment Options
Both oral and IV sedation are safe and effective options for most patients, but to be on the safe side it’s always best to be cautious with any medical procedure. So at your consultation, Dr. Nguyen will review your medical history and current medications and make sure there aren’t any health issues that would make sedation dentistry a risk for you. Then throughout your dental visit you will be closely monitored to make sure no issues arise.
Sedation dentistry does not involve “putting you under.” You will be fully conscious and able to communicate with Dr. Nguyen and other team members throughout your visit.
Many patients find that sedation dentistry not only helps them feel more relaxed and calm at the dentist, but that the visit seems to go by much faster. Right about when you’d normally be dreading that the painful part is about to begin, you’ll instead be hearing congratulations that the procedure is over.
After Your Sedation Dentistry Appointment
Following a procedure where you have received sedation, you will feel groggy. You should not drive the rest of that day, so be sure to arrange a way home in advance. By the next morning at the latest, you should be back at a hundred percent, feeling especially good that what you used to fear turned out not to be bad at all and is now behind you.
To find out more about sedation dentistry and what a difference it makes for people who have been delaying needed dental care due to fear of the dentist, please call our Encinitas dental office today. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Nguyen so she can help you understand all you need to know about sedation dentistry.