Dental phobia refers to the extreme, illogical and uncontrollable fear that is triggered by any thought associated with teeth and dental procedures. Phobias can be rooted in childhood or can be signs of more serious mental health issues. Dental phobia can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or race.
Dental fear is a type of dental phobia. Dental fear is common among people who’ve had unpleasant experiences with dentists. These people don’t show up for dental appointments to avoid repeating these bad experiences. Dental fear can also stem from hearing stories about medical malpractice and botched dental procedures.
It’s important for dentists to learn about dental fear and phobia to understand where these patients are coming from. This helps dentists sympathize with patients and find ways to provide personalized care. Dental phobias can be crippling because patients often wait until their dental problems become unbearable before they go to the dentist. By that time, their teeth may no longer be saved or they may need more complex dental procedures.
While overcoming dental phobia can be a long process, patients can opt for sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is a service that dentists provide to manage dental anxiety. You are given sedatives orally, intravenously or through a mask before the procedure. Sedatives put patients in a relaxed state so that they don’t panic during the procedure. Sedation also makes the procedure seem quicker than it really is, making the experience more bearable for patients with dental phobia. Some patients don’t remember most of what happened after the sedatives wear off.
Sedatives help dentists get the job done quickly and efficiently. Sedatives also help patients relax while they’re sitting in the dentist’s chair. For some people, sedation dentistry is the only way they can get necessary dental care. Patients who choose to be sedated should bring a friend or family member that will take them home after the procedure.
Dr. Ron Receveur is one of the few dentists in the country qualified to administer sedatives intravenously (IV Sedation) for patients with dental fears and phobias. Contact us today to learn more.