Phobia of anything in life can be a sore and challenging part of life. A large group of people fear pain, and as such, you will find that most people do all they can to avoid visiting the dentist. The result of this can be detrimental to your oral health. A bad experience from a previous visit can cause panic and worry that any treatment from your dentist will cause pain.
Knowing that avoiding the dentists can have severe and horrible consequences to your oral health, then it is of paramount importance to seek help for the same. The good news is that there are various techniques and medication which may be combined or used individually to reduce, control, or eliminate and anxiety altogether.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Over the years, dental treatment have undergone incredible transformation. Various dentists are now equipped with the necessary skills and equipment to help them deal with customers who fear and suffer anxiety at the dentist. Treatment and dental surgeries procedures are now updated in readiness and awareness of this problem. Measures are put in place to make such nervous patients a little more comfortable. Among these steps include making the waiting rooms well decorated, and the staff trained to handle such clients.
Among the most recent forms of treatment is that it is very possible for such patients to feel no pain at all. Such sedation dentistry procedures include numbing gel that is applied on the gum to give injections which are developed to cause minimum to zero pain.
Medications found at the Dentist
There are two common sedation forms:
- Inhalation procedure (nitrous oxide): Inhalation sedation, which is similar to air or gas, is administered through a nose pipe. The effects are reversed quickly after the gas is turned off. With this procedure, the patient is allowed to drive and eat within a few hours of the process.
- Intravenous sedation: On the other hand, you will be given an injection in the arm or hand to deliver intravenous sedation. This method will not put you to sleep, but it will relax and calm down the patient. Though you may be awake through the procedure, there are some extent where you will not recall having the procedure. It is usually reserved for patients undergoing extensive procedures.
Additional sedation methods include:
Topical anesthetics: This is administered using a swab where they are used to numb the area that requires dental work. It is applied before injection with a local anesthetic.
Laser drills: Lasers are less painful, and they reduce the need to administer anesthesia. The procedures can be used to remove tooth decay as well as preparing enamel for filling placement.
Electronically delivered anesthesia (electrical nerve stimulation or TENS): It uses adhesive pads that are placed on the face and a battery-powered device that sends electric impulses that numb the area for treatment. The patient is given the power to control the level of stimulation through the use of a hand-held unit. Apart from the fact that the customer can adjust the current as the pain requires, it also reverses the effect immediately after switching off.
General anesthesia: The method involves putting the patient to sleep through the procedure. This method is more common in a hospital setting rather than a dentist’s office. This is because it can incorporate various risks, including irregular heartbeat and a drop in blood pressure.
Steps that anxious patients should take to ease fear
The thing to note is that you are not alone and that fear and anxiety when visiting a dentist are quite common. Steps you can take include:
- You can open up to your dentist so that you can come up with a method that will make your visit a lot more relaxed.
- Another way is to implement relaxation and breathing techniques that help pull your mind from the procedure and also help calm down your nerves.
- Music is relaxing and taking your headphones, or an MP3 player could be what you need to drown away noise that could make you anxious.
- You can also agree with your doctor that if you feel overwhelmed, he should stop the treatment immediately.
- You can also engage a dental nurse where you request her to sit with you or speak with you through the procedure.
- There are sedation clinics for patients who have a severe phobia which you can attend
Sedation clinics are available for patients with extreme fear. If you are unable to find any coping mechanism that works for you, then you will be referred to the sedation clinic. These clinics enable the dentist to perform the necessary tasks on their fearful patients without putting them through too much stress.
Patient comfort is an essential goal for most dentists. When faced with patients with critical levels of pain and anxiety, dentists can find it challenging to deliver satisfaction and quality care. For this reason, dental sedation is recommended to help reduce responsiveness to external stimulation as well as reducing the patient’s environmental awareness.