It’s normal to feel a few butterflies before visiting the dentist but for some people the thought of being in the dentist’s chair is completely panic-inducing, bordering on a phobia. This may have been caused by negative experiences in the past, and resulted in intentionally avoiding the dentist at all costs.
Unfortunately, this strategy will only get you so far, as it is impossible to go your whole life without a visit to the dentist to treat pain, decay or damage to teeth and gums. Fortunately, dental practices have made leaps and bounds forward so that if you are nervous about the dentist, we now have just the thing – sedation dentistry. Find out more about this treatment and how it works to see if it may be right for you.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a new treatment available to help patients who have a genuine fear of the dentist or who are extremely nervous about undergoing any kind of dental procedure. It is an IV (intravenous) drug administered which induces a state of deep relaxation and makes time appear to pass very quickly, leaving you completely unfazed by what’s happening in your mouth. Afterwards, you may not remember a single thing about the treatment, feeling almost as if you have slept through the whole thing.
Why will it help with my nerves?
Absolutely, yes. Sedation dentistry has revolutionised dental care for nervous patients – now there is no need to fear the dentist ever again. Using this method means the maximum level of sedation can be reached, which isn’t possible with other alternative methods such as oral or inhalation sedation. It’s the ideal choice if your preference is to not know what is going on when you have treatment. It’s extremely effective and highly reliable, and the onset of action is very rapid so you won’t have to wait long for the effects to kick in.
What do you use sedation dentistry for?
Typically we can use sedation dentistry for anything from oral surgery to a simple cleaning – it depends on your current level of discomfort around visiting the dentist and having any of these procedures done. This treatment is suitable for people who have very sensitive teeth, extreme fear, a bad gag reflex, a low pain threshold or if you need a large amount of work completed and you would rather forget that it’s happening.
Of course, whilst this treatment is suitable for the large majority, there are some people who we cannot administer this drug to, including pregnant women, those who have CNS depression, cases of alcohol intoxication, some instances of glaucoma and if you have a known allergy to benzodiazepines.
Is there anything else I can do to calm my nerves before visiting the dentist?
There are some simple breathing and meditation practices you can try before visiting the dentist to calm your nerves, and practical things like limiting your caffeine intake the day of your visit. Try listening to calming music in headphones (we don’t mind if you want to continue listening to your headphones whilst you’re in the chair with us), or try these breathing exercises for stress.
It’s our job to make you feel comfortable when you visit us, so whatever your concerns are, just talk to us about them and we’ll see how we can help.