If you tend to get stressed out or anxious about your dental visits, rest assured that odontophobia (fear of dentists) is a relatively common phenomenon. A large number of patients express at least some reluctance to come in for their dental appointments, while some patients avoid the dentist entirely because of this fear.
Fortunately, there’s a solution to this problem that can help you get the dental care that you need. Our sedation dentist serving Barrie Ontario has a vast amount of experience in treating patients who have qualms about getting in the dentist’s chair.
A sedation dentist gives patients a drug (typically from a class of anti-anxiety medications known as benzodiazepines) to help them achieve a state of deep relaxation. The drug can be delivered either intravenously or in pill form, which appeals to patients who aren’t so keen on needles, either. Sedatives also can be administered in gaseous form.
When visiting a sedation dentist, patients remain conscious, which allows them to continue to respond to the dentist’s requests. You may have heard people refer to sedation dentistry as “sleep dentistry,” but that’s a misnomer. Unlike with general anesthesia, which does actually put patients to sleep, a patient’s airway also remains open in sedation dentistry, which is a safer approach.
Another benefit of sedation dentistry is that patients have no recollection of the appointment or any procedures performed. This aspect of sedation dentistry reduces the likelihood that a negative experience will keep patients out of the chair on future occasions.
Sometimes anxious patients recognize that their phobia of the dentist is irrational, but they feel powerless to do anything about it. Sedation dentistry is a valuable tool for helping those patients overcome their fears.
Professional dental cleanings and exams are essential to maintaining your oral health. If you’ve avoided regular visits to the dentist out of fear, consider sedation dentistry to help you get back on track.
Sedation dentistry can also be useful for patients who are facing complex treatments or procedures, such as smile makeovers, which may require several sessions to complete because patients who are under sedation can tolerate longer dental appointments.