August 7, 2018
A sedation dentist in Sapulpa can help to relieve dental -related fears and unease. This condition, also known as dentophobia, afflicts up to 20% of the US population. It has many causes, including negative experiences in the past and embarrassment over tooth and gum problems.
Why Do People Fear the Dentist?
As a group, dentists are a pretty nice group of people. They spend decades mastering their skills and place their patient’s well-being above every other consideration. So why do they make some people uneasy? Common causes include:
- Past physical or emotional trauma. For example, people dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) naturally become afraid when they feel out of control of their immediate situation. In many cases, the causative event had nothing to do with a dentist’s office.
- The instinctual desire to protect our air passages. Researchers have learned that human beings have a deep internal drive to protect their mouth and nose. This probably developed long ago as a response to real-life threats. But it becomes harmful when it prevents us from getting needed dental care.
- Environmental triggers. Some types of dental care require the use of face masks, large instruments or screens. All of these can overwhelm the patient’s visual field, provoking anxiety.
- Personal embarrassment. Sometimes dentophobia is caused more by shame that actual fear. People with pronounced dental health issues may fear that the dentist will judge them for their medical problems. Sadly, this can prevent them from getting the care they urgently need, creating a vicious cycle.
Dealing with Dentophobia
The good news is that most cases of dentophobia can be controlled or even resolved entirely. Common treatment options include:
- Antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication. These medicines work by blocking the physiological mechanisms that provoke the fear response.
- Individual or group counseling. Talking to someone who can relate to your feelings can make a world of difference in how you deal with your concerns. Professional therapist can help you to understand the roots of your phobia, laying the foundation for future recovery.
- Talking to the dentist ahead of time. Often, when a dentist knows that his or her patient is uneasy, he or she can take extra steps to ensure their comfort throughout the procedure. For example, noise-canceling headphones can deaden the sound of the instruments used during the treatment.
What about Sedation Dentistry?
Medication and counseling are effective ways to deal with the underlying causes of dentophobia. However, they’re not always practical, especially when you need to see your dentist in Sapulpa right away.
Sedation dentistry is a safe, effective alternative in such cases. It allows the patient to rest and relax while the procedure is going on, avoiding the stress and discomfort of staying awake throughout the process. Modern dental sedatives are gentle, effective and extremely safe.
All of us are lucky to live in an era in which dental science offers so many treatment options. Talk to your dentist about sedation and other options for managing your anxiety. After the treatment is over you’ll look back on the experience with plenty of reasons to smile.
About the Author
Dr. Dalia Georgy is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of dentistry, finishing at the top of her class. She devotes a substantial portion of her time to honing her skills through continuing education opportunities. You can reach her office online or by calling (918) 216-1000.
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