Say Goodbye to Dental Fear
What´s Dental Fear?
Fear is a feeling of anguish caused by the presence of danger, real or imaginary. Is a feeling of distrust, which leads to believe that an undesired event will happen. When this response is exaggerated, we are talking about a phobia. Phobia is a deviation from the normal response to danger. In this case, the fear is aimed at an object or situation that doesn´t represent a real threat. The person who has the phobia can´t control his/her reaction, despite they recognize that his fear is irrational.
According to a poll conducted by United Kingdom´s National Health Service, a 36% of people suffer a moderate dental fear, and a 12% undergo extreme fear (phobia). Meaning, that dental fear, although has been declining continuously in recent years, is pretty normal and certainly, it should be nothing to be ashamed of.
Nowadays, everyone knows, that a dental procedure doesn´t represent any serious risk for our health. But rather just the opposite, the risk it´s more likely when we don´t take measures when the problems arise. Dental problems, like cavities or swollen gums, don´t heal by themselves. On the contrary, they get worse with time and therefore, they can be solved with ease in their early stages. Furthermore, let us not forget, that a healthy mouth is directly related to a good overall health. Delaying our visits to the dentist for fear, can only adversely affect our oral health.
The main causes of dental fear are often fear of pain, fear of repetition of a bad experience from the past or are affected for the setting, fear of the unknown and, between the most common fears reported by patients, we find embarrassment that may produce going to the dentist, knowing that we have neglected our oral hygiene.
The opposite of fear is trust, what can help you in that regard? Mainly, the fact of being surrounded by people who inspire confidence, offer you all the information that you need to reduce uncertainty and being treated with respect, empathy, care, and kindness.
Remember, the professionals that take care of you, are your friends. Use their help to confront and overcome your fears, and don´t be afraid to share this with them. Ask any question you might have.
The sensation of vulnerability that many patients feel makes us very conscious. Therefore, we try our best that your experience at our clinic to be the most pleasant possible. With that in mind, we always offer a kind and gentle approach, we treat the place with orange and cedar´s sweet scent, we offer background music, we use topical anesthetic gels and minimally invasive procedures, like microabrasion, laser, or intraoral scanners, etc.
Many people become more confident as they continue to build up positive experiences and getting to know the persons that provide the procedure and they are more likely to maintain a good oral health as result.
However, we provide some alternatives, for people that are too nervous and with anxiety, to take our procedures under conscious sedation.
What is conscious sedation?
Conscious sedation is an anesthetic procedure whose objective is to lead the patient to a state relaxation and comfort. It’s not general anesthesia. The patient is conscious during throughout the entire procedure, but without anxiety, nervous or nausea. The treatment seems to have a duration of a few seconds to the patient and is especially comfortable, always.
What professionals are accredited to perform a conscious sedation?
The conscious sedation can only be performed by an anesthesiology and reanimatology specialist.
When will be appropriate to perform a conscious sedation?
An appropriate candidate would be those patients who suffer from chronic fear (or terror) of assisting to a dental surgery. Occasionally, what makes a patient go to the dentist is the pain triggered by problems that appear later on the road – sometimes, years – without going to the yearly checkups.
Another instance will be those patients about to undergo a complex dental procedure (multiple implants, complete restorations, grafts, delicate surgery, etc.) In this case, the duration of the procedure might be long and tiresome, even in collected patients.
Likewise, patients with various relative simple procedures or standard (teeth reconstructions, dental cleaning, curettage, Endodontic treatment, etc.) that will require multiple visits to the dentist, can be done in one session with sedation, with advantages in time, decreased cost of travel and comfort.
What are the risks?
Every human activity entails a potential risk (from taking a shower to walking down stairs, being an example). In this case, the patient is relaxed, without anxiety. A health care provider will be watching the patient during the whole procedure and will not leave their side.
Now, we cannot say there aren’t any risks, but what we can say is that the risk is smaller than take something as common as a sleeping pill. When taking sedatives, we are asleep for many hours without having a health care provider watching us during the whole affair.
Precautions to be taken before and after a conscious sedation
Relevant Instructions before the Procedure:
- Do not eat food within 6 hours before the procedure.
- DO NOT drink within 2 hours before the procedure.
- Tell your provider about allergies or health conditions you have, what medicines you are taking, and what anesthesia or sedation you have had before.
- As a rule of thumb, unless otherwise noted, if you are taking medication, you should keep taking it.
- When entering the clinic, the patient must notify if there any anomaly or problem that may have arisen since the last visit.
Rules to Follow After Conscious Sedation:
- Arrange for a responsible adult to drive you from the hospital or clinic for the procedure.
- Avoid driving vehicles of any kind within 12 hours after your procedure.
- Avoid performing potentially dangerous activities and operating machinery within 12 hours after your procedure.
- DO NOT drink alcohol or any toxic substance within 12 hours after your procedure.
In Padrós Dental Clinic, we have a vast experience in patients that suffer dental fear or phobia. Our patients affected by this pathology received are treated according to their necessities and are very satisfied with seeing that have been able to overcome it without any issues.
If this is the case for you, contact us and we´ll schedule an informative appointment free of charge, where we will explain you in detail the procedures and we will answer all your questions that may arise about it.