In fact, studies show that 3 out of 4 people feel anxiety prior to a visit to the dentist. But it may be more than that for you. Up to 15% of the population is terrified of dental care, and avoid treatment completely. Some people will endure significant amounts of pain and suffering rather than step into a dental office. Logic says that ultimately that leads to more anguish, but fear often sidesteps logic. That's why it's critical to find a dental home that provides clear strategies to help you receive the care you need.
A number of anxiety-reducing strategies are used by our team, but sometimes the only option that fits is the use of sedative medications. Fortunately, a number of possibilities exist in modern dentistry for every aspect of your experience.
The option to use sedative medications is really a menu of choices, all customizable to your situation. And there should be no sense of shame or guilt if that's what you need to complete your dental treatment. We're here to help you move forward one step at a time.
Multiple medications are available that can be used alone or in combination to reach the level of sedation you need. A breathable sedative such as "laughing gas" might take the edge off your anxiety. Sometimes a single pill taken before your appointment may work better, mainly because it calms you prior to your visit as well as during it. But since we're talking about a higher level of dental fear, there are strategies that combine the two sedation types that work even better. In some cases, a little medication taken the night before your treatment lends itself to a good night's sleep. A morning appointment followed by the planned use of laughing gas or other medications can prove ideal to overcome higher levels of dental fear.
At our practice, we understand you may feel the only way any treatment will happen is if you're "completely out." We've heard that many times, and we can discuss levels of sedation and what can be expected with each choice. We'll review your general health and your planned treatment, and even customize different amounts of sedation for different types of treatment. For example, a dental cleaning might be accomplished by one of our gentle hygienists with a little laughing gas. But if you need a surgical procedure, being completely asleep with one of our trusted oral surgeon colleagues might be best for you.