Dental Anxiety Remedies: Learn About our Sedation Options

As many as 6 in 10 Americans experience anxiety at the thought of visiting the dentist, so if you’ve ever put off a checkup because of feelings of dread, you’re far from alone. As many as 10% of people have full-on dental phobia, a condition prevalent enough to be listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In short, some people have problems going to the dentist.

Yet, biannual dentist visits are perhaps the best way to prevent the very conditions for which people worry most about, so dental anxiety can be a real threat to your oral hygiene. Dr. Wilcox and the team at his Butte, Montana, practice are experienced with sedation dentistry techniques, permitting you to get the care you need without suffering the negative effects of anxiety.

Not just a fear of drills

Those with dental anxiety or phobias aren’t necessarily afraid of only the invasive treatments, such as cavities, root canals, or extractions. It’s normal for these people to dread even simple exams and cleanings. In a way, it’s like contact lenses. Some people have no trouble putting them in or taking them out, while others can’t tolerate the thought of touching their eyes in that way. There’s nothing unusual about any of these preferences. They’re simply part of who you are.

Levels of anxiety, levels of sedation

Since dental anxiety is personal, the severity of your anxiety sets the tone for Dr. Wilcox’s approach. You may have heard sedation dentistry referred to as “sleep” dentistry. While general anesthesia is one option, it’s not the only dental sedation technique. In fact, most people opt for levels of sedation where they remain awake but relaxed, able to tolerate dental treatment.

There are four general levels of sedation used by dentists.

Types of dental sedatives

The various levels of sedation are produced by one or more techniques. Minimal sedation usually takes the form of nitrous oxide, a safe gas that’s inhaled and relaxes you. Its effects wear off quickly, so it’s the only sedation method where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.

Oral medications can produce minimal to moderate sedation. The drug Halcion® is typically used in pill form, with higher doses producing more sedation. It takes about an hour for the effects to develop.

Intravenous methods are usually used for moderate and deep sedation as well as general anesthesia. The medications used depend on the desired level of anxiety reduction needed.

Sedation techniques are in addition to regular dental anesthetics, making your procedure both pain- and worry-free. Don’t let anxiety keep you from having the dental care you need and deserve. Contact Dr. Wilcox’s office by phone or online to book your sedation dentistry appointment today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Using Veneers for Non-Cosmetic Purposes

Dental veneers are not just for Hollywood stars and cosmetic appeal. They can also correct a variety of dental problems. Learn whether veneers can correct your non-cosmetic dental issues.

How to Help Your Child Feel Comfortable at the Dentist

Going to the dentist can be scary, especially for younger patients who don’t know exactly what to expect. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to ease your child’s fears before they even hop into the dental chair. Here’s what you should know.

How to Extend the Results of Teeth Whitening

You just got your teeth whitened. How do you maintain that dazzling smile? After in-office tooth whitening, you can continue maintenance treatment at home for pearly whites all year round.

What’s Involved in a Smile Makeover?

A smile makeover is more than just whitening your teeth. It’s a dental process aimed at improving the look and health of your teeth and gums and may involve one or more specialized treatments.