For many people, the idea of going to the dentist brings about feelings of anxiety. It is estimated that 36% of the population suffers from dental anxiety. For some it is even more serious, escalating to the level of dentophobia, and it is often related to iatrophobia (fear of doctors) and trypanophobia (fear of needles/injections).
Dental anxiety prevents some people from going to the dentist to get the necessary care that is so important for oral health. People with dental anxiety will avoid going to the dentist for any reason, from regular cleanings and exams to cavity fillings to root canals. They will even avoid getting treatment for serious dental conditions and live with the pain (and often over-medicate).
What causes dental anxiety? Typically it starts with just one negative experience at a dental office. It doesn’t necessarily mean that anything went wrong, it may have been just a first time cavity filling that incited the fear. It often begins in childhood and continues into adulthood.
What can be done about it? How can people with severe dental anxiety get the care they need?
For patients with severe dental anxiety, it can help to be sedated. Sedation dentistry refers to any form of medicated relaxation used during a dental procedure. Some sedation medications can be taken orally. Others must be administered intravenously. Sometimes a combination of sedation methods can be used. If a patient is severely afraid of needles, they may have trouble even having an IV put in for sedation. But an oral sedative taken first, or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) administered before the IV can help the patient relax.
Levels of Sedation
There are different levels of sedation that can be used. Which is best depends on the patient’s preference, the type of procedure being done, and the dentist’s recommendation.
- Minimal sedation. With minimal sedation you are awake, but medically relaxed so that you won’t feel any stressl.
- Moderate sedation. You’re still awake when moderately sedated, but you are more relaxed and typically won’t remember much about your procedure.
- Deep sedation. When deeply sedated you are partially “asleep” but can be brought back to awareness quickly when necessary. You will not be aware of your procedure at all.
- General anesthesia. Under general anesthesia you are completely unconscious. You won’t be aware of the procedure and you will be brought back to consciousness afterwards.
What to Expect Following Sedation
For some patients, even the idea of being sedated causes anxiety because of the loss of control. But knowing what to expect can help.
You will need a friend or family member to drive you home from a dental procedure that involves sedation of any kind. You may still feel the effects of the anesthesia for an hour or two after going home, but once it wears off you’ll be back to normal. You may feel tired for the rest of the day following your procedure and need to rest. But by the next day you’ll be able to resume your normal activities.
Savannah Dental Solutions Provides Sedation Dentistry
If you or someone you love avoids dental care due to extreme anxiety, sedation dentistry can help. Savannah Dental Solutions provides a wide range of sedation options to help anxious patients relax. We will discuss the various sedation options with you to decide on the best course of treatment to make you or your loved one comfortable. Sedation dentistry can put an end to dental anxiety for patients who have suffered from it for years. You can get the dental care you need without the stress and fear.
Call (912) 354-1366 or contact us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you overcome your anxiety to get the dental care you need.
Are you looking for a children’s dentist in Savannah, GA? When it comes to your child, you want to find the best pediatric dentist in the area. So how do you find them? What do you look for?
There are certain qualities that set some pediatric dentists apart from the rest. Pediatric dentistry is different. Children need specific things from a dentist that may not apply to adults. Here’s what to look for when it comes to selecting a pediatric dentist.
Sensitivity to Children’s Feelings
Children often need a special touch, a higher level of understanding and compassion. They may be little, but they have big emotions. Anxiety or fear of going to the dentist is perfectly normal and a lot of kids experience it. Their first experience at the dentist or at a new dental office can set the tone for the way they will feel about going to the dentist for the rest of their life. And the importance of lifelong dental care is crucial to a person’s oral health as well as their overall health. Choose wisely.
Experience Working with Children
Choose a pediatric dental practice that has been in business for a while. Plenty of experience is necessary when it comes to children. All kids are different and won’t necessarily act the same way regarding the dentist, but an experienced dentist and support staff will know what techniques have worked in the past to help kids feel comfortable. A dentist who has experience working with children will also know the best ways to help young patients learn proper dental hygiene to keep their teeth clean and healthy between dental visits.
Before you choose a dentist, take the time to look at their qualifications. Of course they should have a degree from a reputable dental school and be licensed in the state where they are practicing. In order to practice pediatric dentistry, a dentist must also complete a certification with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Make sure any dentist you consider has all of the necessary qualifications.
In-Network with Your Insurance
If you have dental insurance for your kids there are certain dental practices that are considered to be in-network with your insurance provider. In-network means that the dental practice and the insurance company have an agreement when it comes to the cost of care and coverage. You will end up paying less out of pocket if you choose a dentist who is in-network with your insurance. Some dental practices may accept your insurance without being in-network. This means your insurance will still cover some of the cost of your dental care, but possibly not as much. Going out of network is possible, but may require some research to compare the cost.
Savannah Dental Solutions Provides Care for the Whole Family
Another quality to look for in a dentist is convenience. Some pediatric dentists only serve children and others only serve adults. But Savannah Dental Solutions provides care for all ages so that families can get their dental care at one convenient location. Appointments can be made together to save trips. Parents can also set a positive example for their kids when it comes to dental cleanings and proper oral hygiene.
At Savannah Dental Solutions, we treat children the compassion and understanding they deserve so that they develop a positive view of the dentist. We have years of experience working with children and know how to help them feel comfortable. Our dentists and staff are highly qualified and our practice works with a long list of insurance providers to make your care affordable.
If you’re looking for the best pediatric dentist in Savannah, call (912) 354-1366 or contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to providing your family with excellent dental care and helping your kids get the right start to a lifetime of dental health.
Sedation Dentistry and Soothing Tactics to Help Your Fear of the Dentist
Dental anxiety is extremely common. Some people experience a mild nervous feeling, while others have outright terror that reaches the level of a phobia. If your anxiety is severe, you might even go out of your way to avoid critical dental work. Fortunately, many dentists today are aware of dental anxiety and take proactive steps to help patients feel less afraid. Here are 4 soothing tactics your dentist might use.
Calming Office Space
Dentists are increasingly aware of how the look and feel of their office can affect patient anxiety levels. When visiting a new dentist, take a moment to look around the reception and waiting areas. Is the lighting scheme calming? Is the furniture warm and inviting? Is there space for each patient to speak privately with the receptionist? Some dentists go even further, borrowing ideas from high-end spas to create a soothing oasis. Even if yours doesn’t quite go that far, a calming office space is a good sign that the dentist is dedicated to reducing patient fears.
While most dentists today allow patients to bring earbuds and listen to their own music during treatment, many offices provide sensory aids to help soothe their nervous patients. Relaxing music, chairside movies, warm blankets, and heated face cloths are just a few ways that dentists attempt to make the treatment room as relaxing as possible.
Each patient is different, so communication is absolutely essential. Choose a practice in which staff members are aware of the signs of dental anxiety and know how to communicate with anxious patients. The receptionist might let you know what to expect. The hygienist might offer you a blanket or show you how to operate the remote control. The dentist should take a few minutes to sit with you and discuss your fear, and provide some suggestions for helping you feel more in control. For example, he or she might ask if you would feel more comfortable with the chair in a position other than flat, or suggest a hand signal for you to give if you need a break.
Many dental offices now offer sedation dentistry, which can be a real game changer if your anxiety is severe. From mild nitrous oxide to deep IV sedation, there are several options to keep you calm and comfortable. Talk to your dentist about your choices, including the pros and cons, risks, and any activity restrictions that may be required with a specific type of sedation.
Dental anxiety can range from mild to severe. If you have a serious dental phobia, you might need to consider seeking help from a mental health professional. For many people, though, soothing tactics and sedation dentistry can help manage the fear and turn a visit to the dentist into a comfortable and relaxed experience.
Want to Learn More?
If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.