Dental Anxiety

August 29, 2011 by Dr. Ng HW

Dental Anxieties, Dental Fear & Dental Phobias

For many individuals, visiting a dental clinic is the worst fear they are going to face. Partly due to the unknown or unexpected procedure that they are going to face which is usually a painful or uncomfortable. Some people might have previous experiences from childhood dental clinics or traumatic dental treatments have left many patients with underlying dental fears and phobias of the dentist, which in turn leads to missed dental appointments, neglected teeth (dentition) and in worse cases dental toothache / dental pain. Regular dental examinations (check-ups) by your dentist will reduce your need for emergency dental treatment and toothache. If you have any concerns or worries about your teeth and gums, make a dental appointment with our team.

Nervous Patients

We in Prestige Dental Care understand how daunting and nerve wracking a trip to the dentist can be, we aim to take our time with you during your dental appointment and hope to allay those fears. We provide a calming atmosphere starting from your welcoming entry into reception, to the relaxing waiting area, stylish surgeries and friendly staff.  Within time you can build up a good relationship with your dentist and feel confident in any dental treatment you may require. During your initial appointment with your dental practitioner, you should use this time to discuss your fears and anxieties regarding dental care. Perhaps a certain treatment or procedure makes you feel uneasy, often once the dental surgeon has explained what they are going to do, you can feel reassured and know what to expect. It is often advantageous to agree a stop signal with your dentist, such as the lift of your hand, so the dental practitioner knows when you need a rest during the treatment appointment. For those among us that have a deep set anxiety in relation to dental treatment we offer conscious dental sedation making dental treatment more acceptable.

Conscious Dental Sedation

For some people the word dentist does evoke a deep fear and this unfortunately prevents patients from seeking treatment. For our patients we offer conscious dental sedation which alleviates the anxiety associated with dental treatment making it a more tolerable experience.

Introduction: What is conscious dental sedation?

By definition, conscious sedation is:

“A technique in which the use of a drug or drugs produces a state of depression of the central nervous system enabling treatment to be carried out, but during which verbal contact with the patient is maintained throughout the period of sedation. The drugs and techniques used to provide conscious sedation for dental treatment should carry a margin of safety wide enough to render loss of consciousness unlikely.”

Conscious dental sedation is a technique used widely in dentistry to help those patients’ with a fear of the dentist. The sedative drug/gas  is introduced through inhalation, orally or via a needle in the back of your hand or in your arm, you will become relax, drowsy and unaware of treatment but will still be able to cooperate with your dentist. The sedative drug will not render you unconscious but it will make you very relaxed and you will still be able to understand and cooperate with your dentist. The sedative drug also has amnesic properties so you may not remember your dental visit. Throughout your dental procedure, your dentist will monitor your pulse and your oxygen saturation levels in your blood, these measurements helps the dentist keep an eye on you and makes sure you are alright.

Range of Techniques:

Intravenous sedation with midazolam Inhalation sedation with nitrous oxide and oxygen Oral sedation with benzodiazepines/midazolam The majority of anxious or phobic patients can be treated with these techniques or a combination of them. Others may respond better with alternative techniques such as: Intravenous sedation with more than one drug Intravenous sedation with propofol Transmucosal sedation (nasal, sublingual)

Some reasons for prescribing sedation:

To treat anxious or phobic patients who would otherwise be denied access to dentistry. To enable an unpleasant procedure to be carried out without distress to the patient. To avoid general anaesthesia

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