Statistics show dental anxiety affects approximately 36% of dental patients. The fear of the dentist can impact an individual’s quality of life. It often leads to dental avoidance, which only worsens oral health problems. Find out how Irvine sedation dentistry can improve your teeth, gums, and overall wellness.
What is dental anxiety?
Also known as dentophobia, dental anxiety is the fear of visiting the dentist. It can affect people of all ages, from children to older adults. The fear can be so extreme that the patient avoids visiting the dentist even when in pain.
The symptoms also vary between patients. Most people experience some anxiety about going for a dental checkup. Statistics show 12% of the population have an extreme fear of visiting the dentist.
People with dentophobia may fear needles and injections when undergoing dental treatment. Children fear the noise from dental drills and instruments. The environment and settings can also be intimidating for younger patients.
You may have dentophobia if you experience the following symptoms:
- Experience anxiety whenever you have a dentist appointment
- Your anxiety exceeds the perceived threat
- You avoid visiting the dentist
- The phobia lasts for at least six months
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry involves various techniques to help the patient stay calm and comfortable during dental procedures. Your dentist may administer minimal sedation, which keeps you relaxed but fully conscious throughout the treatment process. With minimal sedation, you can drive yourself back home.
Your dentist may choose other sedation medications depending on your diagnosis. Another option is oral sedation, which makes patients drowsy during the procedure. You can sleep during treatment, but you will need someone to drive you home after your treatment.
IV and deep sedation require an anesthesiologist to administer them correctly. Some dentists have the accreditation to use advanced sedation techniques. But most dental professionals can administer minimal sedation to children and adults.
Why is an evaluation necessary?
Your dentist will evaluate your medical history and prescription drugs before addressing your symptoms of dental anxiety. Some medications can cause complications if you have conditions like Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Your dentist will discuss the risk associated with the sedation treatment. It is advisable to inform your dentist if you are taking blood thinners to prevent complications.
Dental sedation may have short-term side effects like drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting. Some patients experience dry mouth and headaches after treatment. But side effects are rare when the procedure is completed by an experienced and accredited dentist.
Benefits of sedation dentistry
Sensitive teeth, claustrophobia, or fear of needles can intensify symptoms of dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry keeps you calm during your dentist appointment. It allows dental professionals to work more efficiently to treat your teeth and gums.
Therefore, dental anxiety can reduce the number of visits to the dentist. Addressing your fears keeps you calm so you can receive adequate care for your gums and teeth. Sedation dentistry improves your oral health and overall well-being.
Get the dental care you need from Smile by Design Dental Group by scheduling your consultation today.