Dental anxiety can be a real problem both from an emotional standpoint and from an oral health standpoint.
If you have anxiety and do go to the dentist, you may feel stressed before, during, and after your visit. This can make it more difficult to schedule your next appointment, even though you know routine care is important for keeping up your oral health.
If you have anxiety but don’t go to the dentist, you may be putting your oral health at risk. No matter how well you think you are brushing and flossing, no one is perfect. If you miss an area, that can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and more serious problems.
At Galleria of Smiles, we are happy to say that we help patients with dental anxiety almost daily. Our sedation dentistry has helped many people feel more relaxed and comfortable while taking take of their oral health.
Today, we will be discussing three examples when sedation could help someone. If you decide you would like to learn more about dental sedation, please call our dentist office in Tulsa, OK, at 918-999-0142 or fill out our online contact form.
Before we go any further, we want to be clear that the patients we describe in our examples below are fictional although similar situations do affect many people.
Situation 1: The Young Adult
Jane has recently moved out of her parents’ house. She’s ready to start taking more responsibility, and that includes doing “adult” things on her own … like going to the dentist.
The problem is she has always felt a little anxious about receiving dental care. The dentist she visited as a child was kind of cold, and she hasn’t forgotten how critical he seemed those couple times she had cavities. As a result, she feels tense from the moment she sits down in a dentist’s chair until she leaves the office.
If Jane comes to Galleria of Smiles, she would find that our staff is warm and welcoming, which may help her feel more at ease. She also will have the option of receiving nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas.
Nitrous oxide is a type of dental sedation that is inhaled. As Jane breathes in the gas, she will feel its calming effects, which will allow her to stay relaxed during her cleaning. At the end of her treatment, we simply turn the gas off and remove the mask. As she breathes normally, she’ll return to feeling like herself in a few minutes.
By the time she’s ready to go, Jane could realize that dental care can be much different than what she experienced growing up.
Situation 2: Gum Disease Treatment
John has not been looking forward to this dental visit. He knows that he has gum disease, and he has scheduled an appointment for treatment.
John’s always been a little anxious about dental care, anyway, but this is the first time he’s needed periodontal treatment. That’s making him more nervous than usual.
Fortunately, his dentist at Galleria of Smiles talked to him about oral sedation prior to making this appointment. John received a dose of medication to take before his appointment, which is why his brother is driving him to and from the dentist office.
By the time they arrive at our office in in Tulsa, OK, John is already feeling the effects of the medication. He won’t remember much of his treatment, but when he wakes up at home later, he will know that his gums are going to be better.
Situation 3: Full-Mouth Reconstruction
Joe lost his first tooth when he was in his 40s. He ignored it, and since then he’s lost several more teeth. He tried wearing traditional dentures, but he’s grown tired of how loose they are and frustrated that he can’t eat the foods that he wants to eat.
After talking to one of our dentists, he’s decided to get full-mouth reconstruction with implant-supported dentures. Joe admits that he is a little anxious because he knows this is more complicated than the typical dental care he’s received in the past.
Fortunately, Galleria of Smiles is one of the few dentist offices qualified to offer IV sedation. This will keep Joe in a dreamlike state throughout the procedure. He won’t feel any pain during his treatment. He won’t remember how it happened.
But he will get to enjoy the security and stability of dental implants.