Dentistry evolved through many technological advancements since the 19th century when practitioners used crude tools. Modern methods apply precision techniques and cutting-edge tools for optimal results. Dental fear still causes patients to avoid visiting their dentist for treatment. Here is how Gables sedation dentistry can boost your oral health.
How prevalent are dental fear and anxiety?
Dental fear and anxiety (DFA) are considerably prevalent in the general population. It affects one to two of every ten adults. One study shows approximately 7% of children between seven and nine exhibit symptoms of DFA.
The level of fear and anxiety may vary among patients. Therefore, dentists utilize different scales to diagnose patients depending on the intensity of distress.
Generally, the anxiety index categorizes fear into moderate, high, and severe intensities. Some statistics suggest 27% have moderate anxiety, while 19% and 12% of adults have high and extreme phobias.
Dental phobias can manifest as mental, emotional, or physiological responses to visiting a dentist. Symptoms may vary depending on the intensity and the patient’s psychological profile.
DFA symptoms may include:
- Physiological reactions like sweating and rapid heartbeat
- Illogical fear of something happening during the dental visit
- Nausea, vomiting, and breathlessness
- Feeling uneasy and agitated before the dental appointment
What are the implications of dental fear and anxiety?
One of the implications of DFA is it causes patients to avoid getting dental treatment. People with DFA may take unrealistic measures to skip their dental appointments. For example, DFA patients may avoid hot beverages when they have tooth sensitivity.
Research studies report a higher DFA prevalence for patients with dental problems. Skipping your dental appointments limits interventions that could boost oral health. As a result, patients tend to have more missing teeth and infected gums than people without dental phobias.
How does sedation dentistry work?
Sedation dentistry applies various sedatives and medications to relieve anxiety for DFA patients. The process tailors sedation levels to the patient’s phobia intensity, medical history, and treatment duration.
The sedation may include nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. The patient is awake throughout the treatment session. With nitrous oxide, you can drive yourself home after your outpatient procedure.
Your dental specialist may recommend other procedures if nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation is not viable. IV sedation is administered intravenously and allows dosage adjustments for optimal results. General anesthesia is only prescribed for people with severe dental phobia.
Importance of sedation dentistry
Dental phobia can make the dentist’s work more complicated. Dental specialists struggle to complete the work during the scheduled consultation. Sedation keeps patients calm and reduces the duration of the appointments.
Dental sedation facilitates faster treatment and fewer appointments. It encourages patients to visit the dentist for critical procedures such as tooth cleaning and root canal.
While the duration of sedation effects varies, you can return to your daily routine in most cases. Your dentists will evaluate your dental health and medical history to customize a suitable treatment for DFA.
To learn more about your sedation dentistry alternatives, call Gables Sedation Dentistry or use the online booking options today.