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How Can Sedation Help With Dental Anxiety?

How Can Sedation Help With Dental Anxiety?

Tons of patients, both children, and adults struggle with dental anxiety. It’s important to find coping mechanisms or remedies for dental anxiety so that you can get the dental treatment that you need. Read on in this blog from Driftwood Dental Studio to find out how sedation can help relieve dental anxiety.

Sedation Dentistry at Driftwood Dental Studio

What Is Dental Anxiety & Why Do We Experience It?

Dental anxiety is a condition of extreme fear or stress caused by the anticipation or experience of going to the dentist. 

When the fear is so extreme that it causes avoidance of the dentist entirely and the anxiety is interfering with their ability to seek necessary dental treatment, then it can be considered a dental phobia. 

Believe it or not, dental anxiety is incredibly common. Up to 20% of Americans report having feelings of dental anxiety. People feel anxiety about going to the dentist for many different reasons. 

This can include a fear of needles, pain, confinement, lack of space, a history of a traumatizing dental experience, feeling self-conscious, worrying about a procedure being invasive, and not knowing what to expect.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Dental sedation is the use of medication to induce feelings of relaxation and melt away feelings of anxiety, stress, and worry. Dental sedation can be used to put patients into a state of relaxation where they remain conscious and fully aware of their surroundings or it can put them into a deep sleep, where they are unconscious during the dental treatment. 

How Sedation Can Help Ease Dental Anxiety

Dental sedation reduces fear by placing patients into a state of calmness, euphoria, or a dream-like state. It also helps to reduce pain sensation and discomfort so you are more comfortable mentally, emotionally, and physically. 

A few features of dental sedation are great at reducing fear in patients with dental anxiety. The first one is that sedation has an amnesiac affect, so patients do not remember the procedure afterward, even if they were fully conscious during it. 

If you have had traumatic past dental experiences, this can help you in anticipation of future appointments because you know that you won’t have any traumatic memories. The second is the elimination of pain sensation. 

When you need to undergo an invasive or complex oral surgery, many patients will feel very scared. However, knowing that you can be put under a general anesthetic where you won’t feel a thing and you’ll just go to sleep and wake up with the procedure completely done, this can be reassuring. 

Patients with intense gag reflexes and limited jaw mobility can experience relief with dental sedation. With better cooperation from patients who are sedated, dentists can get more dental work done in fewer appointments.

Other Tips for Alleviating Dental Fear & Anxiety 

Other great ways to reduce dental fear and anxiety include talking through these fears with your dentist so they can take steps to accommodate you. They can provide you with noise-canceling headphones so that you can listen to music or a podcast during your appointment. 

They can also help explain what will happen during certain dental treatments and reassure you that there is nothing to worry about.

Most dental offices have TVs in their treatment rooms so you can watch your favorite TV show during your appointment. You can also practice breathing exercises which can help promote relaxation. 

If you are someone who regularly avoids the dentist, then you can start by practicing desensitization by gradually increasing your exposure to dentistry to train your fight or flight response to learn that nothing bad is going to happen.

Find Out If Dental Sedation Is Right for You

If you’re interested in finding out if dental sedation is right for you, we will need you to come in for a consultation. While dental sedation is suitable for most people, it’s not for everyone. 

We will need to review your medical history and any medications you are taking to determine if you’re a good candidate. Contact us at Driftwood Dental Studio today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rebecca Butler.

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