The number of people who dread and even fear going to the dentist is quite remarkable. Even individuals who feel they have a high pain threshold will only go to the dentist when absolutely neccessary. There are many factors that contribute to dental anxiety. However, dentists are now using quality dental management to create a calm and pleasant experience for their patients.
Avoiding dental treatment due to fear and anxiety can lead to serious problems. Regular check-ups including cleanings keep the mouth, gums and teeth in great overall health. Conditions like gingivitis can be treated when detected early. Other issues such as cavities, gum disease and even bad breath can be addressed by a dentist. These prevenative visits will also curtail any potentially painful issues that may arise in the future. Seeing the dentist for these easy and painless visits can prevent a patient from having to go during a sudden, painful toothache or other episode.
Pain management within the dental office has come a long way from the simple methods of years ago. Nervous patients now have the option of sedation dentistry. This process can be accomplished through several methods. Oral medications such as Valium can be used prior to a dental visit to relax an individual. Certain medications can also be given intravenously if needed to produce the same effect. During light sedation, the patient is awake and aware of their surroundings.
Most people have heard of “laughing gas” or as it is medically known, nitrous oxide. This harmless gas can be administered through a mask in the office within a matter of minutes. The patient will relax and even be overcome with a sense of elevated happiness or joy. This elation takes the place of fear and helps individuals go through their dental visit without much knowledge of the actual procedure.
Deep sedation can be performed by dentists who have received specialized training as well as certifications from their state. This method includes the use of stronger intravenous drugs and allows the patient to sleep. Close monitoring is required during this type of sedation. Some professionals will also offer general anesthesia. This is the same process used to put individuals to sleep during surgery. This anesthesia also requires close and constant monitoring as it may affect the way a patient breathes during their procedure.
The proper form of pain management depends on several key factors. These include the type of procedure being done, the patients medical history and the overall mental state of the individual. It is important for the dental team to have a detailed conversation with the patient to determine their anxiety level and previous dental experiences.
Patients who have a fear of the dentist do have options for a comfortable and easy experience. Individuals should consult with their dental professionals to verify their certifications and find out the sedation options that are offered. Having a clear understanding of the proposed procedures and the options for pain management will ensure that a dental visit is as pleasant as possible.