Has fear kept you from taking care of your smile the way you know you should? Many people struggle with dental anxiety, which unfortunately can lead to an increased risk of dental health issues ranging from cavities to gum disease. This can also cause eventual tooth loss, or the need for extractions followed by prosthetic dentistry. Fortunately, many dentists now offer sedation as a means of conquering dental fears. In many cases, sedation is a simple, safe and fast way to help patients get the care they need to maintain healthy smiles. So, if you have vowed to finally take better care of your smile this year, it’s time to push past your fear, and to learn how sedation might be able to help!
How a Dentist Can Help You Conquer Your Fear
Estimates indicate that between 10 and 20 percent of Americans struggle with some level of dental anxiety, and that of those, many delay or avoid dental treatment, altogether, leaving their teeth and gums in jeopardy.
While cognitive behavioral therapy may be able to help some patients overcome their fears, many dentists are now offering forms of sedation, as well, which can help timid patients receive the preventive and restorative treatment their smiles need.
Dentists that specialize in sedation dentistry generally provide two or more options, including an oral sedative, which is a pill that can be taken either shortly before a procedure or event the night before. This sedative creates a calming effect, which can help patients remain relaxed before and during treatment.
Intravenous (IV) sedation may also be offered, and can be particularly helpful for patients with physical conditions that make it difficult to remain still for long periods of time.