If there is one thing that I have learned in years of practicing dentistry, it’s that you can’t force patients into the dental office. I wish I could encourage everyone to make their oral health a priority, but the fact is that some of us have a hard time visiting the dentist.
One of those big hurdles is dental fear and anxiety. About 20 percent of Americans have some level of dental anxiety. Some of those patients are squeamish in the chair while others simply stiffen with fear at the thought of the dental office.
If you’ve read my blog before, you know that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. And you probably know that missing teeth can greatly decrease your overall health. While these issues can wreak havoc on your oral health, there may be a greater issues at work here. When we skip visits to the dentist, we put ourselves at a higher risk of gum disease and other serious oral health issues. I commonly meet with patients who haven’t been to the dentist in years – or sometimes even decades – and then have substantial dental problems like gum disease or failing teeth.
The Many Faces of Dental Fear
As I said before, there are different types of dental fear. Some patients can’t stand being in a dental office. Those patients typically cringe even at the idea of dental injections or can’t even bear to hear the sound of a drill. Then you have patients who have had a bad experience at the dentist. I truly feel bad for these patients because they have had their trust damaged in the past, and they are weary about other dentists.
We also deal with patients who are afraid of lectures of ridicule from the dentists. You’d be surprised how many people this applies to. I promise you that I never lecture or ridicule my patients. I never want to make my patients feel embarrassed or bad about the state of their dental care. Quite the opposite, in fact. I want to help them in their dental journey and feel great about their smile.
Ways to Cure Your Dental Fear
We have the most gentle and compassionate dental staff in the area. We work to make sure that every patient is comfortable in the dental chair. If you need some extra help getting through your dental procedures, we can offer a variety of sedation options. We are one of the few dental offices in the greater Dallas area that is certified to offer a full range of sedation options. Below is the list of sedation options that we can offer our patients.
Nitrous Oxide – This is the most common form of sedation. You probably know this better as laughing gas. While you will not be laughing during the procedure, you will feel relaxed. The gas is rendered easily and works quickly. It also wears off quickly, which means you can safely drive yourself to and from the dental office.
Oral Conscious Sedation – This method is rendered in pill-form and delivers a much stronger level of sedation than nitrous oxide. You are simply prescribed medication to take before your dental visit. We ask that you have a friend our family member drive you to your dental appointment. Oral conscious sedation is ideal for patients with a mild to moderate dental fear. We’ve also found that this form of sedation can help patients who have a terrible gag reflex.
IV Sedation – IV sedation is possibly the best thing to happen in dentistry for years! This form of sedation helps patients who have an extreme fear of the dentist. With IV sedation, patients can have their dental treatments completed without having to face the sights, sounds and smells of the dental procedure. The sedation is rendered through an IV and works instantly. This form of sedation is easy to control and is very safe for the patient.
With sedation dentistry, you have the power to control your own dental care. You don’t have to worry about the procedures or facing your fear. You can have your dental procedure in a relaxed and comfortable state. If you want to learn more about our dental sedation, call us today and schedule a consultation with us.