If you have claustrophobia, you avoid cave exploration. If you have acrophobia (fear of heights), you avoid sky diving. In either case, you can live a fulfilling life without joining in these activities.
What if you have dentophobia or a fear of the dentist? (Yes, it’s a real thing with an official name.) This is different than the phobias mentioned previously. Since dental visits are critical for dental health, it’s not smart to simply avoid dental treatment.
Yet many individuals try to do just that. That is, until they have a problem that gets so painful they are impelled to white knuckle it through a dental visit. At that point, the procedure may be an extraction that could have been prevented with earlier intervention or preventative measures.
If you experience severe anxiety when undergoing dental treatment, oral sedation is for you. Whether it is called relaxation dentistry, oral conscious sedation, sleep dentistry, or anxiety-free dentistry, it has proven to be safe and effective.
Dentophobia is complex and may be accompanied by any of the following:
- Teeth sensitivity
- Fear of needles
- An uncontrollable gag reflex
- Difficulty in controlling body movement
- Difficulty becoming numb with standard injections
With oral conscious sedation, dentistry patients can relax or even sleep through dental treatment.
You select the level of sedation necessary:
- Mild sedation: relaxes you while you remain conscious.
- Moderate sedation: provides a deeper level of relaxation with partial consciousness.
- Deep sedation: you are almost entirely unconscious but can be awakened.
- General anesthesia: this sends you to dreamland from which you awake after it’s over with no memory of the procedure.
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