Dentophobia, or fear of the dentist, is very real for more than a third of Americans. It’s estimated that 36% of Americans have a fear of dental treatment. For 3% of people in developed countries, dentophobia keeps them from seeking any type of dental treatment.
So while dental phobia is real, it’s also well-established that dental visits are an important part of staying healthy. Bridging the gap between dentophobia and proper oral care is sedation dentistry, a service that can take some of the anxiety out of sitting in the dentist chair.
If you fear trips to the dentist or feel anxiety before appointments, come see the team at Gables Sedation Dentistry. Our practitioners, Jorge Fornaris, DMD, and Ramiro Esparragoza, DDS, lead a team of professionals who share a commitment to creating wonderful treatment outcomes through general and sedation dentistry.
Here, they explain the root of dentophobia and how sedation dentistry can help you overcome it.
Dentophobia comes from many sources, including a fear of blood, needles, the noise of dental equipment, or pain from a dental procedure. Some people may also fear dentists, especially if they’ve had a bad experience in the past. People can also be influenced by the fear of others if friends or family members discuss bad experiences with them.
Sedation dentistry is the practice of using carefully controlled medication to create a sense of deep calm and relaxation during dental services. The level of sedation can be matched to the level of phobia or anxiety a patient feels, from light sedation to general anesthesia.
Gables Sedation Dentistry offers four levels of sedation, which are as follows:
Known as laughing gas or giggle gas, you may remember this type of sedation from childhood. Delivered through a mask, this gas makes you feel relaxed and somewhat drowsy. The effects wear off quickly, and you should be alert and able to drive yourself home afterward.
Moving toward a more moderate level of sedation, oral sedation is delivered via oral medication, and the dosage can be tweaked to fit your situation. This sedation is used for higher levels of anxiety or for longer, more complex procedures. You’ll be awake, but you’ll need a ride home afterward.
As the name implies, IV sedation is given intravenously. You’ll be extremely drowsy, but you’ll be able to respond to gentle nudges and verbal commands. You likely won’t remember the procedure, and you’ll need to be driven home.
With this type of sedation, you’ll be unconscious, as if you’re undergoing surgery. General anesthesia is reserved for those with severe dental phobia and for those who are having extensive dental work performed. The team at Gables Sedation Dentistry partners with a local anesthesiologist for general anesthesia, which must be scheduled in advance.
If you need dental work done, and if you’d like to see if sedation dentistry could help you, call 305-518-1822 or book an appointment online with Gables Sedation Dentistry today. We’re located in the Coral Gables neighborhood of Miami.