Conscious sedation dentistry can provide hope & help for people who fear the dentist, or have anxiety when going to the dentist.
Do you avoid going to the dentist? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from dental anxiety or overwhelming fear of going to the dentist. Just as others suffer from fear of heights, crowds or open spaces, fear of going to the dentist is very real. What often results is a long-term avoidance of dental visits, even for basic cleanings, which can lead to more serious dental and health problems, as well as severe mouth pain later in life.
Signs of Dental Fear or Anxiety
Not all people recognize their dental fear. If you display any of the following symptoms, you may want to consider sedation dentistry, or working with your dentist to address your concerns:
- Do you regularly cancel dentist appointments due to apprehension or other excuses?
- Have you put off dental treatment for a long time, and are overdue for significant dental care?
- Have you had traumatic dental experiences in the past as an adult or child?
- Have you ever been told that you aren't "yourself" before or during a dental visit, due to stress or anxiety?
- Do you ignore mouth pain or other issues with your teeth or gums?
“Sometimes we see patients who have not visited a dentist in decades,” says Dr. William Graf, a dentist with First Choice Dental in Middleton, WI. “But now, they are forced to come, because of severe pain or dental problems they can no longer ignore.”
How Does Conscious Sedation Dentistry Work?
Through conscious sedation dentistry, dentists like Graf, who have completed fellowships and specialized training in this area, are able to offer patients conscious sedation for their appointments. Graf explains, “In conscious sedation dentistry, we use medication to relax the patient.” Patients are given a dose of oral medication the night before their dental appointment, and then oral medication throughout the appointment as well — generally crushed, and placed under their tongue for rapid and easy absorption. During their appointment, patients are able to walk, talk and follow directions from their dentist, but are more relaxed and generally don’t remember much of the appointment.
For patients with great fear or anxiety, sedation dentistry helps them through their appointment, and allows them to receive a great deal of dental work (sometimes years’ worth) in a safe and effective manner.
Doctor Graf explains that overcoming a dental phobia can be life-changing. “I have patients who tell me they can now look at someone when they are speaking to them, that they no longer cover their mouth when they smile or laugh. Some of our male patients are now clean-shaven after years of growing a beard or mustache to hide their mouth.”
As the New Year begins, it’s important for people to maintain their resolve to take care of their health and their bodies – including their mouths and their dental wellness. If you suffer from dental anxiety or fear, and would like to consider sedation dentistry, Graf notes that it’s important to find a dentist who respects your fear, is willing work hard to earn your trust and respect, and who has completed the appropriate training and credentialing to serve you well.
Free Sedation Dentistry Consultations. We’re ready to help you.
Contact First Choice Dental to schedule your FREE, obligation-free sedation consultation, and learn how we can help you get the dental care you need, without fear or anxiety. Select our Sedation Dentists Dr. Bill Graf and Dr. David Penwell, located in our Middleton and Verona locations. But your usual First Choice Dental dentist could certainly answer your initial questions on Sedation Dentistry. For your convenience, we have dental offices located throughout Madison and Dane County, WI.