Oral Sedation May Help You Kick Dental Fears For Good!

Posted on Sep 16, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

It is estimated that nearly 70% of American adults have some level of dental fear, and about a third of those have such deep levels of fear that they’re classified as ‘dental phobics.’ These are people who find it difficult to even call a dental office.

The majority of fears begin with a traumatic dental experience in the past. Those with severe levels often avoid dental care until they have an emergency need. Typically, the discomfort becomes so intense that it forces them into treatment. What I often see, at this point, is a mouth full of problems that could have easily been avoided had they been able to receive regular check-ups and cleanings.

Regardless of an individual’s level of fear, we know people must feel a sense of trust that we won’t hurt them. We begin with a conversation in a Consultation Room that’s removed from the clinical side of the office. We sit in comfy arm chairs and discuss your oral problems, what you’d like to accomplish and what may have triggered your dental fear.

During this conversation, I explain the various options we use for comfort. Since many people are uneasy about dental visits before they walk into a dental office, I may recommend oral sedation. In pill form, oral sedation is highly-effective and safe. The patient takes the pill before leaving home (with a companion who drive them to our office). By the time of arrival, they are very relaxed but able to walk in on their own.

Before treatment begins, the medication has taken full effect and you are totally relaxed. Sedated patients are fully monitored by a trained staff member along with monitoring equipment to ensure safety and comfort. Too, I administer numbing medication to the areas being treated so there are no worries about discomfort.

Another plus with oral sedation is its ability to erase most or all memory of treatment afterwards. Some patients recall hearing my voice but most have no memory of their time in the chair at all. Oral sedation has a quick recovery as well. After a brief nap at home, most patients feel refreshed and back to normal.

As a Periodontal Specialist, I appreciate oral sedation’s ability to enable fearful people to have much-needed dental care. A healthy mouth plays a significant role in your overall health, as research has shown. Oral bacteria can become bloodborne in the body and has been linked to heart disease, memory loss, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and some cancers.

Often, after one or two visits with oral sedation, patients feel they no longer need sedating and overcome their fear altogether. Seeing a formerly fearful patient able to have regular dental care and enjoy a healthy, confident smile gives our entire office tremendous joy.

Don’t let fear prevent you from a healthy smile. Begin with a friendly phone call as a first step: (828) 274-9440.

Recent Posts