Dentophobia or the fear of the dentist is a common condition that affects many child and adult patients. This fear has many causes including negative past experiences, the memories of unpleasant sounds and smells and embarrassment from a smile that has become ruined from either neglect or poor personal oral hygiene. Someone who has dental anxiety or the fear of the dentist not only is afraid of restorative dental procedures like root canals and tooth extractions. He or she is also afraid of more routine procedures such as teeth cleaning, root planing and scaling, fillings and crowns.
Patients who are afraid of going to the dentist can have a fear that ranges from mild uneasiness to extreme panic whereby they refuse to go to the dentist for their regular teeth cleaning and dental examination.
Relax With Oral Sedation
Sedation dentistry isn’t new. In fact, oral sedation dentistry has been used in dentistry for a number of years to numb an area of the mouth that is being treated. Oral surgeons have been using oral sedation to temporarily cause a patient to “fall asleep” and be temporarily unconscious during an intensive surgical procedure.
Oral sedation has become more commonplace in many dental offices over the past few years as an effective way to calm and relax patients who have a moderate to severe fear of the dentist. This type of dentistry has proven to be a safe way to calm patients down to enable dentists to quickly treat the oral issue whereby decreasing the time the fearful patient will need to be at the dentist office. Sedation dentistry has enabled dentists to be more efficient in their restorative and cosmetic dental procedures and it gets nervous patients in and out of the dental office quickly.
At Lincoln Dental Associates, we want to ensure a pleasant experience for every patient. We know some patients would rather avoid receiving essential, much-needed dental care. However, by doing so, the health of a patient’s teeth and gums are unnecessarily put at risk.
It is recommended that patients schedule a visit with one of our dental professionals every six months for teeth cleaning, an oral cancer screening and an overall dental examination. These appointments help us help each patient to maintain his or her beautiful, natural smile, as well as help, prevent additional, future dental issues that can compromise the health of the teeth and gums.
Types of Oral Sedation
Most dentists, including Lincoln Dental Associates, provide what’s called minimal sedation in either injection, gas or pill form. This is the lowest strength of dental anesthesia. This type of sedation dentistry is meant to simply make the patient relaxed and comfortable. The patient retains full consciousness and the ability to speak and comprehend.
This form of oral sedation wears off nearly immediately so the patient is able to leave the dentist office on their own without any drowsiness or compromised mental ability. In fact, the patient can jump in the car and continue with the rest of his or her day after their dental procedure.
Only oral surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons and dental anesthesiologists who have CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation) can administer deep sedation and general anesthesia.
The type of oral sedation that is best for each patient depends on the preferences of the patient, the age and physical conditions of the patient, the extent of the patient’s dental anxiety and the complexity and extent of their restorative dental procedure such as getting one’s teeth cleaned versus getting dental implants. When the patient needs to be relaxed is another consideration.
Oral sedation in pill form is great for the patient to take before they arrive at the dental office or before being called back for their appointment.
Oral sedation in injection form and “laughing” gas form of dental sedation are more powerful and are administered right before a procedure because of their fast-acting effects. Either form of sedation used in oral sedation dentistry wears off fairly quickly.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
The dentist office isn’t a place to be fearful of. The caring and knowledgeable dental professionals at Lincoln Dental Associates will strive to provide a welcoming and comfortable environment for each patient. For those who have dental anxiety or the fear of the dentist, contact us to learn more about our oral sedation dentistry and the oral sedation options we offer. We take the oral health of each patient seriously and we don’t want one’s dentophobia to put one’s oral health at risk.