Does Sedation Dentistry Help With Dental Phobia?

Terrified woman with dental phobia, scared at dentist visit.

Dental phobia is a legitimate issue that can prevent patients of all ages from visiting the dentist year after year. For some, what once occurred as a result of a bad childhood dental experience, grew into a deep, gut-wrenching and debilitating fear, causing them to avoid the dentists at all cost as an adult. Dental phobia can be so intense that it keeps people in excruciating pain from seeking the help they need.

Recent studies have revealed that nearly 40 million people in the United States avoid visiting the dentist each year due to dental anxiety or fear. However, with the invention of sedation dentistry, even the most fearful patients can undergo routine dental treatment.

If you have a loved one afraid of visiting the dentist, contact our Fresno, CA dental practice online or by phone at 559-297-1800 to learn more about sedation dentistry.

Do You Have Dental Phobia?

Dental fear and anxiety can occur for any number of reasons. Common causes include fear of pain and needles, a previous traumatic experience, embarrassment over how teeth look, or even angst over sitting still for long periods of time. You may have dental anxiety or phobia if you:

  • Haven’t seen the dentist in years as a result of fear
  • Regularly cancel dental appointments
  • Have a sense of dread and trouble sleeping the night before an appointment
  • Have experienced panic attacks in the waiting room
  • Have irrational thoughts of worst case scenarios that could happen at the appointment
  • Become emotional or have trouble breathing when thinking about going to the dentist
  • Have increased anxiety when driving by a dental office or when seeing dental instruments or dental personnel.

How Sedation Dentistry Can Help

With the introduction of sedation into the dental industry, patients can achieve peace of mind while undergoing the necessary preventive and restorative procedures to improve the health of their smile. There are a variety of methods to choose from, including nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. One of the more successful methods involves the combination of the two to achieve a deep, relaxed state of mind.

Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas” is a safe and effective sedative that is administered through a nose mask. Patients are able to achieve a relaxed, sleep-like state in a matter of seconds that can be easily maintained throughout the entire procedure. Once the patient wakes up, clarity is easily regained and they can return to normal activity. This type is generally recommended for patients with mild to moderate cases of dental anxiety.

Oral conscious sedation involves the administration of a prescription medication, such as Valium or Halcion. Patients are generally advised to take the medication the night before an appointment or the day of the procedure to help those with intense fear achieve a good nights sleep and a comfortable appointment. With oral conscious sedation, patients will need to have a loved one available to drive them to and from the procedure due to the strong sedation and aftereffects. During the appointment, patients will achieve a deep, sleep-like state and have little to no memory of the procedure.

Call Today

Don’t let fear of the dentist prevent you from receiving the care you need. Dr. Alex Denes at Fresno Dental Studio will take the time to sit and explain the available sedation methods and work with you to ensure you are comfortable throughout your entire procedure.

Contact our dental practice online or by calling 559-297-1800 to schedule your consultation.

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