Are You Afraid of the Dentist?
Does the very thought of going to the dentist send shivers down your spine? You may be suffering from dental anxiety or phobia. This can be caused by a traumatic dental or healthcare experience, or generalized anxiety and phobias. Some people could experience this as a slight nervousness, but for others, a trip to the dentist can be an actual nightmare that prevents them from getting appropriate treatment.
Avoiding a visit to the dentist will definitely save you the discomfort of the experience, but it may end up contributing to greater problems down the road.
Oral Sedation: How It Works
One method dentists can use to help people manage dental anxiety or phobia is oral sedation. The medication decreases activity in the parts of the brain that control fear and anxiety, and its effects can vary from minimal to moderate depending on the dose.
Benefits of Oral Sedation
Oral sedation is a simple but effective way to deal with dentist anxiety or phobia because:
- It’s administered orally — you just have to swallow a pill to keep you calm and relaxed during the procedure.
- No needles! Fear of healthcare appointments usually goes hand-in-hand with a fear of needles, so if the solution for the fear includes needles, it’s a no-go for many patients. With oral sedation, this is completely out of the picture.
- You won’t remember the procedure. The strong dosage of Benzodiazepines leaves patients with little to no memory of the procedure, making it easier for patients who deal with traumatic memories related to dental anxiety.
- It’s safe. Side effects from oral sedatives are unlikely and extremely rare, so you have a low risk of experiencing any issues.
- You’ll still be responsive. With this method, you’re partially awake and aware of the instructions given by your dentist during the procedure. After your treatment, you are able to fully recover from the effects and go back home conscious, safe and sound.
Fear of the dentist is more common than you think, so don’t be ashamed to let us know so we can help. We are happy to discuss the best dental sedation option for you at our Denton, MD office.