There’s nothing wrong with admitting the dentist chair might cause you some anxiety. You’re not alone – it’s estimated that between 30 and 40 million Americans avoid the dentist out of anxiety and fear.
But avoiding routine visits can lead to health risks, along with more involved, sometimes more expensive procedures. And while the thought of this can make your anxiety snowball, options such as sedation dentistry can help manage that fear.
Dr. Lordo’s office offers several forms of sedation dentistry to meet your needs. And learning how to cope with dental anxiety is the first step toward restoring your smile.
Why Am I Afraid of the Dentist?
People avoid the dentist for a variety of reasons, and while many of us can deal with varying levels of dental anxiety, it keeps some of us out of the office for years at a time—or until an emergency forces us to make the call.
Many patients are afraid of feeling pain or discomfort during a dental procedure. For some, that fear may stem from a bad experience in either childhood or more recently, as an adult.
Some avoid the dentist out of embarrassment over the state of their teeth, or just at having a stranger examine them so closely. Others can experience anxiety at the loss of control of being in the dentist chair, similar to the fear experienced when the rollercoaster has already left the gate.
Sedation dentistry, however, can help overcome each of these causes of fear.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry typically comes in three forms; minimal sedation, moderate sedation and deep sedation. Here’s what to expect with each level that Dr. Lordo’s office offers:
Minimal sedation: Minimal sedation is typical administered without needles, as a gentle numbing agent or as medication taken about an hour before a procedure. The effects can last about three to four hours, and the patient stays awake throughout the procedure.
Moderate sedation: Moderate sedation is ideal for patients whose anxiety is strong enough that they have trouble holding still in the dentist chair. This method usually involves nitrous oxide, or ‘laughing gas.’ The patient remains conscious, but may not remember the procedure later.
Deep sedation: Deep sedation is the most involved method, where sedative drugs are administered intravenously. The patient is completely asleep, and monitored by an anesthesiologist.
Is Dental Sedation Right for Me?
If sedation gives you the confidence to schedule a much-needed dental appointment, then it should be seriously considered. Our staff will be happy to listen to your concerns, and help determine which level of sedation is needed to help you complete your next procedure.
Along with those dealing with anxiety, dental sedation can benefit other patients as well. Sedation can help those suffering from severe gag reflexes, shake uncontrollably due to illness, or have difficulty sitting for long periods of time.
Regardless of the source of your dental anxiety, it’s important to your long-term oral health to visit the dentist regularly. Our office is committed to providing the most comfort to you possible, in a judgement-free atmosphere. You can request your first sedation dentistry appointment online or by calling 614-885-4754.