Our sedation dentists can help you get your needed oral health treatment, no matter how much anxiety you have.
Do you ever feel anxious when you think about going to the dentist? If so, you’re not alone, and if not, you likely know someone that does. The reason is that dental anxiety is incredibly common. Fortunately, people affected by this condition often recognize that they can lean on sedation dentistry for their oral health treatment. What they might not understand is that this treatment might cure their anxiety altogether. We explain how in the sections below.
What is Dental Anxiety?
This condition is relatively easy to understand once you break down the two words. It is a feeling of anxiety or panic at the prospect of going to the dentist. What it often leads to is people not obtaining the oral care that they need, which in turn causes health complications and significant expenses down the line. These reasons make managing dental anxiety a worthwhile goal.
How Sedation Helps
What sedation does for these patients is provide them with a way to get the dental care they need. The following is the typical process that they undergo.
- Consult with a sedation dentist about possible treatment.
- That dentist decides on a level and means of sedation.
- The patient gets their treatment while partially unconscious, relaxed, and less prone to anxious feelings.
This medical practice is a win for those who suffer from anxiety because it has minimal side effects and obtaining dental treatment has substantial upside.
A Somewhat Unexpected Result
Though patients often have high hopes for sedation dentistry, it sometimes delivers more than they could ever imagine. The way it does so is by curing their dental anxiety altogether, rather than just suppressing it during dental treatment. Patients will occasionally find that they no longer need the same levels of sedation that they once did, or they will go even farther and switch to conventional treatment. But why does this phenomenon take place?
Why It Makes Sense
The answer to that question is exposure therapy. Psychologists frequently use this method when working with people with phobias. What they do is, with the consent of the patient, slowly increase exposure to whatever gives them anxiety. In the case of cynophobia, the fear of dogs, that might mean the following four steps.
- Looking at photos of dogs.
- Watching at a dog park from afar.
- Walking through the park.
- Finally, stopping to pet a dog.
While this example is much simpler than the real process, it gives you an idea of how this method works. In the dental setting, those with anxiety experience the imagery, sounds, and feelings associated with dental work. Even if they are only partially conscious, they might quell their fears through simple exposure.
St. Louis Sedation Dentistry
Whether you’ll ultimately be cured of your dental anxiety or not, looking into a sedation dentist is a smart idea. Our sedation dentists can help you get your needed oral health treatment, no matter how afraid you are. An added benefit that you might encounter is conquering your fears altogether and living your life without any dental anxiety.