You can schedule the appointment, but you also keep rescheduling it. You drive to the dentist’s office, but you can’t get out of the car. If anyone in the dental office comes near your mouth, you grab their hand. All of these factors likely indicate that you have dental anxiety or dental phobia. A sedation dentist can help.
If you really want to take care of your oral health, but dental appointments make you nervous, a sedation dentist can help. Don’t have one? Before you select a sedation dentist based on an online search or how close the dental office is to your home or office, there are three things to remember.
1. You need to like and trust the dentist
If you don’t like or trust a dentist in general, you probably won’t trust him or her to provide you with sedation before a dental appointment. Choose two or three experienced sedation dentists, schedule time to check out the office and meet the dentist and staff members. Pay attention to how they treat you and treat each other. If you’re comfortable, schedule an appointment for an exam.
2. What levels of sedation are offered?
There are three levels of sedation—nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral
conscious sedation, and IV sedation. An option is chosen based on your anxiety level, the length or complexity of the dental procedure, and what levels of sedation the dentist offers. Find out which levels a dentist offers. Ask for details about how the dentist administers sedation and what you can expect. Also, ask about his or her training in sedation dentistry.
3. It gets better
Many patients who receive sedation dentistry find that over time, they are less nervous for future appointments. Some patients require sedation less frequently or are able to switch to a lower level of sedation.
Cooperate with your sedation dentist by sharing the history of your dental anxiety. Ask questions to learn about your options. Remember that it is possible to relax, keep your dental appointments, and maintain good oral health.
This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Miranda Lacy, DDS.