Understanding Dental Anxiety

Pain17-300x206

Fear of the dentist is not uncommon. In fact, some research estimates that as many as three-quarters of us have a certain degree of anxiety about going to the dentist.

Unfortunately, though, when that fear is severe enough to keep someone from seeking dental treatment, it can compromise that person’s oral health.

Postponing a trip to the dentist can lead to the need for a more invasive intervention, which can, in turn, provoke even more anxiety. This counterproductive cycle will just continue to fuel the fear.

Fortunately, Dr. John M. Hucklebridge, your Plano sedation dentist, can help you overcome this fear and get back to a schedule of regular dental appointments for upkeep of your teeth and gums.

Sedation dentistry involves anti-anxiety medications that help the patient to achieve a deep state of relaxation. Patients are completely at ease throughout the appointment, giving them the opportunity to receive much-needed dental care.

Dental anxiety can arise from any number of sources. People may have stored negative memories from past experiences in the dental office. Some may fall victim to media messages characterizing dental situations as anxiety-inducing. Still others have fears rooted in the sense of helplessness that they feel while in the dentist’s chair.

Regardless of the root cause of the anxiety, sedation dentistry is beneficial to fearful patients. Although patients are deeply relaxed, they remain conscious, allowing them to respond to the dentist’s commands. The patient’s airway also remains open during sedation dentistry.

In addition to improving patient comfort during the visit, sedation also erases any memories afterward. Patients have no recollection of any procedures performed.

Patients have a number of choices in the way the sedatives are delivered. The medications can be taken orally or intravenously. Gaseous nitrous oxide may also be an option.

If you choose sedation dentistry, it’s important to prepare for the appointment. You may need to fast for several hours prior to receiving the medication, or you may need to take a pill a few hours before the scheduled visit. You should also plan to bring a responsible adult with you to escort you home.

Sedation dentistry has a number of benefits. Consider taking advantage of it to help manage your dental anxiety.