Dental anxiety and dental phobia affect many people, including patients at Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa. Today’s post answers some questions asked about this vital topic.
What are the long-term consequences of dental anxiety and dental phobia?
The most harmful consequence is when a dental phobic patient delays dental care until a pain becomes excruciating. At this point, the trouble is usually extremely advanced and requires extensive treatment.
In addition, there are usually many other dental problems in varying stages of progression. Many oral conditions eventually cause malfunction in other vital systems risking general health and well-being.
There is also another anxiety at play, albeit a very ironic one. In addition to the emotional distress about dental treatment, the patient who avoids dental care starts panicking about the sorry condition of their teeth.
If I have dental phobia or anxiety, what should I do to guard my oral health?
Schedule an appointment with Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa. There are several individual fears associated with dental anxiety and dental phobia. Fear of pain, fear of the unknown, fear of loss of control, and extreme embarrassment because of poor dental health are the most prevalent concerns. During your consultation, we will address each of your specific fears and discuss them.
What if I need more help to get through treatment?
The terms “sleep dentistry” and “oral conscious sedation” are both used, but they are not exactly the same thing. There are three main types of sedation used in dentistry.
Level 1: Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide, or, informally, “laughing gas” is safe and effective. Nitrous oxide has been used in La Mesa cosmetic dental offices for decades because in many ways it is the prime mild sedative. It goes to work at the first inhalation, relaxes the patient during the treatment without rendering them completely unconscious, and wears off quickly after the mask is removed. And no needles are required – a key feature for the needle-phobic.
Level 2: Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral sedatives don’t start working as rapidly as nitrous oxide, but they help most patients achieve a deeper level of relaxation. These medications, however, do not usually bring about complete unconsciousness. Thus, oral sedatives and nitrous oxide are used in “conscious” sedation. Two common sedatives used by La Mesa dentists to assuage patient’s fears are diazepam and triazolam.
Level 3: IV Sedation
IV sedation produces actual “sleep dentistry.” Most patients are completely oblivious to the dental procedures they are receiving. IV sedation is useful for root canals, wisdom teeth extractions, multi-procedure smile makeovers, and oral surgery.
To learn more about overcoming sedation dentistry, call Jeff Gray DDS. We also provide general and cosmetic dentistry.