Have you ever had a toothache that caused you constant pain? You want to get it treated, but the thought of going to the dentist’s office fills you with dread. You imagine sitting helpless in the chair while they poke you with needles and all kinds of tools. Just thinking about it makes you freeze with fear. You decide that it’s easier to just deal with the pain instead of visiting a dentist. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. As many as 20 percent of American adults have avoided the dentist out of anxiety. However, ignoring dental problems can make them worse over time. Let’s examine the possible causes and treatments of dentophobia, or fear of the dentist, from a sedation dentist in Montrose.
What Causes Fear of the Dentist?
Dentophobia usually doesn’t stem from experience, but lack of control. Many patients become extremely uncomfortable lying in the chair with a dentist hovering over them, unable to move. Some people deal with dental phobia as a side effect of mood or anxiety disorders or PTSD. Because dental anxiety is so common, sedation dentistry has increased in popularity.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is when your dentist uses medication to help you relax during a dental procedure. Your sedation dentist in Montrose offers 3 levels of sedation:
- Nitrous oxide: You wear a mask through which you breathe nitrous oxide, otherwise known as “laughing gas.” The gas helps you relax, and once you stop breathing it, it wears off quickly, so you can drive yourself home after the appointment.
- Oral conscious: You take a pill about an hour before the procedure that will make you drowsy, but you will still be awake enough to respond to basic requests from the dental team. You will not remember the procedure, and will need a ride home afterwards.
- Intravenous (IV): You receive the sedative drug through a vein, so it starts acting more quickly. This allows your dentist to adjust your level of sedation as needed.
When Is Sedation Dentistry Necessary?
Although sedation dentistry is typically used on nervous patients, it can be used in a few other situations, such as:
- Sensitive teeth or gag reflex
- Patients with injuries or physical pain that makes sitting in a dental chair uncomfortable
- Children who might not be afraid because they don’t fully understand their treatment
- Patients with cognitive impairments that may make dental care frightening
Dental anxiety is a severe problem, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be treated. Make an appointment today. Your dentist will understand your fear and will do everything in their power to make your visit as comfortable as possible.
About the Author
Dr. Holly Boone worked as a dental hygienist for seven years before finishing dental school and becoming a doctor at Tamborello Dental Associates in Houston, TX. Her accomplishments include certification in nitrous oxide and level 2 dental sedation. She can help you soothe your dental fears and help you achieve a beautiful, worry-free smile. To learn more visit the practice’s website or call them at (713)-522-7540.