Are you afraid of the dentist? If so, you’re like millions of other people. Like you, they really do want a healthy, beautiful smile and know it can be achieved if only fear wasn’t in the way.
We understand. Dental phobia affects 9-20% of us. It’s pretty common, so if you suffer, you’re definitely not alone.
In this article, we’ll talk about one of the most popular ways to get the dental care you need and want even if you have the worst dental phobia – IV sedation. But before we discuss the solution that may be perfect for you, let’s talk a little about dental phobia itself.
Dental phobia causes:
- avoidance behavior – avoiding booking your next appointment when leaving one appointment, cancelling your appointment at the last minute
- severe dental issues that could have been intercepted earlier – when you leave a small dental issue unaddressed (you may not even know it’s there!), it will grow into a bigger issue, making getting dental care more elusive
- investment of more time and expense – there is a logical relationship … small issues usually require less time and expense to correct and larger issues usually take more time and expense to correct.
- financial restrictions – if you ever find yourself not keeping dental appointments due to financial restrictions, talk to us so that we may find a payment plan option that works for you.
Signs that you are experiencing dental phobia:
- difficulty sleeping due to negative thoughts about your scheduled treatment
- rising anxiety as your appointment date draws near
- great emotional discomfort while at the dental practice
- physical reaction to thoughts about receiving dentistry (these may include sweating, racing mind, increased breathing rate, high blood pressure, crying, feeling physical ill, upset stomach, etc.)
- panicking in the dental chair.
Dental phobia facts:
- We will never dismiss your fear. It’s real. We understand.
- Dental phobia is also known as odontophobia, dentophobia, dentist phobia, and dental anxiety.
- It’s estimated that about 75% of people experience some form of dental phobia or fear at some point in their lives.
- The level of dental phobia can range from non-existent to mild to moderate … to severe.
- Up to 10% of us avoid dentistry all together due to dental phobia, anxiety, and fear.
- Many people who have dental phobia get caught up in the “cycle of avoidance” – dentistry is avoided so truly small problems become bigger issues that reinforce the fear.
- Younger people are more prone to “fear of the dentist,” so as a parent, it’s important that you never express your dental anxiety to your children, rather, positively reinforce dental care and all its aspects.
- Our friendly team understands dental phobia that our patients experience and we’re trained to ensure your comfort and alleviate your fear and anxiety.
- Dental fear may stem from feeling a lack of control. That’s why we include you in all decisions about your treatment plan so that the best decisions are made for you. It’s also why we encourage you, when receiving care, to let us know when you need a bit of a break. Just put up your hand and we’ll adjust to your needs.
- Some people experience fear when they don’t know what to expect. We will always thoroughly explain what we’re doing – if that’s beneficial to you, let us know! – and we always welcome questions if there’s anything you don’t understand.
If you have dental fear, it’s essential that you speak to us, your dentist in Tigard, so that we understand your feelings. Don’t be afraid – we’ve worked with hundreds of people who experience fear – we’ve helped them and we’ll help you!
Could IV sedation be right for you?
Intravenous (IV) sedation, sometimes called monitored anesthesia, is a type of sedation that administers drugs to you through a vein. Depending on your treatment, the amount of anesthetic will range from a very small amount so that you feel drowsy, to enough to make you “sleep” through your appointment.
But well before hand, when we’re discussing your treatment plan, we’ll talk with you about your level of fear and the sedation level you prefer. We may ask that you fast for several hours prior, and we’ll review your medications to be aware of any possible interactions with the sedation medication. Everything will be determined in reviewed thoroughly in advance, so you’ll know what to expect.
As certified specialists, you will be monitored continuously while under anesthesia, and we’ll be there for you before and after your treatment so that you have the maximum emotional and physical comfort level.
If you choose IV sedation for your dental care, you’ll need someone to take you home from your appointment. You will not have the ability to drive as your concentration and coordination will be dull for several hours afterwards.
If you’re one of our current patients, or if you’re new to us, and if you think IV sedition is for you, call us at (503) 433-8256 and let us know! The most important thing is to talk to us about your anxieties and concerns. We will work closely with you to determine the best solution so you can get the care you want and need. Call Total Health Dental today!