Nearly 75% of adults in the US have anxiety or fear about seeing the dentist. Almost 15% of those patients have anxiety that is so overwhelming that they could be diagnosed with Dental Phobia. This equates to a considerable amount of individuals that are unable to maintain good oral hygiene because they can’t cope with attending regular dental appointments.
At Eldridge Dental in Houston, Texas, our dentists fully understand that dental anxiety is a real issue and we have a potential solution for those patients. Our offices specialize in sedation dentistry which allows patients the opportunity to engage in a number of options that can alleviate that anxiety that typically results in them wanting to avoid their appointments and scheduled procedures.
DentaVox has recently published a worldwide survey that discovered many of specific reasons that patients suffer from Dental Anxiety. Some of the most common were:
There are numerous advantages to the patient and to the dental team when performing sedation dentistry. For patients, the use of sedation dentistry is a way to provide necessary dental treatment without the anxiety of sitting in the dental chair awake with their mouth open for prolonged what can seem like an endless amount of time. Many patients experience increased comfort, reduced gag reflex, and little to no memory of the treatment. For Dentists, they are able to more adequately control patient movement and cooperation while in the dental chair which can lead to better outcomes and time saving particularly in regards to procedures.
Oral Sedation as the name suggests, involves swallowing an anti-anxiety pill before your dental treatment. Some of the common names for these medications are Valium, Xanax, and Halcion. These medications activate fairly quickly and last just long enough for the dentist to complete the indicated procedure and can often lead to less post-operative discomfort.
Many refer to this option as “laughing gas,” the gas is a mild sedative mixed with oxygen through a small nose mask (see picture). The gas can allow the patient to enter a deep state of relaxation and can put you to sleep if administered at the right concentration. The effects of Nitrous Oxide are short-lived once the mask is removed and the majority of patients experience no lasting effects.
IV Sedation is delivered through an intravenous line directly into the bloodstream. The patient’s vital signs are monitored carefully throughout the procedure by our trained experts. This type of sedation is much more powerful and you will be asleep during the entire procedure. With IV Sedation the patient will always require someone to drive them home after the appointment.
If you have been suffering from fear and anxiety related to your dental appointments, we have options for you. Please call us and we can discuss how we can make sure that your comfortable and healthy.