If you have anxiety about going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Avoiding the dentist, however, means that you miss out on professional oral health care, and put yourself at risk for serious health problems. At Dentistry for Life, we offer sedation dentistry for our anxious patients so you can get the dental work you need when you need it and maintain healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime.
Patients that benefit from sedation dentistry include those who have:
- Needle Phobia
- Panic or Anxiety disorder
- Scared of the drilling Sound
- Complex Dental Needs
- Difficulty getting numb
- Sensitive Teeth
- Sensitive Gag Reflex
- Autism, Dementia, or Parkinsons
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
The most commonly prescribed dental related drugs that treat anxiety belong to the “benzodiazepine” family. Drugs such as Valium, Halcion, Xanax, or Ativan. These drugs decrease anxiety by binding and toning down activity within “fear” receptors in the brain.
There are two different types of Benzodiazepines:
- Sedative-Hypnotics: These drugs induce calm, including drowsiness and even sleep. This sleep state is actually a form of hypnosis which is a form of physiological sleep.
- Anti-Anxiety Drugs: These are drugs which relieve anxiety and induce a state of calm and relaxation.
Overcome Dental Anxiety for the Sake of Your Oral Health
Good dental care is essential. You can be diligent about brushing and flossing your teeth at home, but the bottom line is that your cleaning tools can’t do the work of a dentist’s tools. Every six months, you should be in the hygienist’s chair, getting your teeth scraped free of plaque and tartar and undergoing a quick but thorough exam to identify any oral health problems, from cavities to cracks to gum disease to oral cancer.
If dental anxiety keeps you away from the dentist, you can develop dental complications that will, eventually, require major dental intervention. Instead of spending half an hour getting your teeth cleaned, you’ll spend significantly more time and expense getting necessary repairs to restore your oral health.
Sedation Dentistry in Center City
At Dentistry For Life we the Premiere Dental Office to offer all dental procedures under sedation. are both mild and moderate types of sedation dentistry:
- Laughing gas is a mild sedation that completely relaxes patients but still allows them to respond to the dentist. A small mask is placed over the nose so the gas – the calming effects of which kick in very quickly – can be inhaled the entire time we are taking care of your teeth. Laughing gas creates a euphoric feeling while also minimizing discomfort. When the mask is removed, the laughing gas wears off quickly.
- Oral sedation usually comes in the form of a pill that is taken prior to your appointment or administered during the appointment. Oral sedation is often recommended to the most anxious patients, especially those who are undergoing multiple or lengthy procedures. The sedation can make you feel like the procedure is completed quickly and puts you into a completely relaxed state, but you are still conscious enough to respond to the dentist. You will need someone to accompany you home from the dentist after oral sedation because it takes several hours for the effects of the sedation to wear off.
Sedation dentistry makes it possible for you to endure all your dental appointments, especially if you have several oral health issues that need to be addressed or an invasive restoration.
Manage Dental Anxiety at Your Philadelphia Dentist
Our Dentistry for Life office is designed to make our patients feel welcomed, relaxed, and at home. We pride ourselves on providing gentle dentistry to all patients, especially those who are particularly anxious about being in the dentist’s chair.
We understand that your anxiety or phobia can have various causes – perhaps you had a bad experience at the dentist as a child, you’re embarrassed about the condition of your teeth, you have a severe gag reflex, you don’t like the idea of the dentist’s hands being in your mouth, you are worried about pain. Pinpointing the source of your fear is important, but the most important thing is to manage the negative feelings you’re having about being at the dentist.
Along with sedation dentistry, we encourage our patients to bring along any creature comforts that will help them relax, like noise-cancelling headphones, music, a stuffed animal, or a good luck charm. Whatever helps you calm down at home can help you reach that same state of relaxation at the dentist.
At Dentistry for Life, we do everything in our power to give you a good dental experience. We will not judge your apprehension, or the state of your teeth and gums. Our goal is to simply help you have good oral health and develop a positive and safe feeling about visiting our Center City dental office. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about sedation dentistry and our practice.