“When I have an anxiety attack, I can’t even tell you how terrible it is. My heart races. I can’t breathe. I can’t even think,” Liz said. “I work with my physician to get the symptoms under control, but there are certain situations I have a real struggle with. And one of those situations is going to the dentist.”
Many people experience feelings of nervousness and anxiety when it comes time to access any kind of health care, including dental services. These feelings can be enough reason for people to postpone needed treatment, sometimes for years. In the meantime, dental health issues grow more and more severe due to the lack of treatment. Regular cleanings are an essential part of maintaining a happy, healthy smile, yet many people forgo this basic of their self care because they’re afraid to visit the dentist.
Over the years, we have learned how to control the impact of anxiety and other emotions through the use of prescription medications. When used to facilitate access to dental care, this practice is known as sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry options can range from the very mild – appropriate to get people with minor anxiety to relax enough to tolerate treatment – to full anesthesia, which is often used to facilitate oral surgery, prolonged procedures, and cases of severe and significant patient anxiety.
Your Quincy dentist will work with you to determine what type of sedation dentistry is best for your unique circumstances. There are factors to consider, including your overall health and the use of any medications you take regularly. Your dentist will talk with you about what your ideal treatment experience looks like for you and explain what your options are. Your health, well-being and comfort are paramount concerns, as patients who have less anxiety and stress exhibit better outcomes from dental care.