Do you get nervous when thinking about going to the dentist? Does the mere thought of your next dental appointment worry you or make you anxious? Has it been over 2 years since your last dental visit? Believe me- you are not alone! I should know, I am one of them! Yup, me! Wife of a Dentist! I wasn’t always the Wife of a Dentist. I, like millions of others, suffered from high fear of going to the dentist. Some reasons we have high fear of going to the dentist is due to a bad dental experience, difficulty getting numb, bad gag reflex, sensitive teeth, complex dental problems or simply those with limited time for dental treatment put off going to the dentist…and we understand!
When a person finally works up the courage or clears their busy schedule to get to their dental appointment the last thing they want to have happen is be so nervous or anxious they cannot sit through their dental treatment, regardless if it is a simple dental cleaning or a more complex dental procedure.
This is where Sedation Dentistry plays an important role in helping patients get through their dental treatment and overcome the fear of going to the dentist.
To truly understand Sedation Dentistry one must look at Sedation first. Did you know that the standard of treating patients with sedation was set by physicians in the U.S. approximately 40 years ago? Most medical procedures patients are sedated. Ever know someone who needed an MRI, Ear Surgery or Nose Surgery? Most likely they were sedated for this procedure. Move a few inches to the mouth and it becomes acceptable to endure time-consuming, strenuous, noisy and uncomfortable procedures on the most sensitive part of the body (the mouth) with no sedation.
Dentists attempt to work outside of the already established standard of using sedation. As a result, dentists end up treating only 50% of the population while physicians treat over 90%.
Sedation for certain types of dental care has been used for over 30 years. If you asked one hundred patients who have had their wisdom teeth removed how they had it done, most would say they were put to sleep by an oral surgeon to have them removed.
The problem is that dentists assume that root canals and drilling on teeth is not uncomfortable enough to warrant sedation. That is why 50% of the population does not go to the dentist. Shouldn’t the patient have more of a say in determining what is comfortable for them?