Face Your Fear and Get Sleep Dentistry!
- Posted on: Oct 16 2015
Keeping your teeth in good shape is not always easy. While it’s important to brush and floss your teeth and eat the right foods for optimal oral health, it’s also recommended to visit dentist for regular checkups and cleaning.
More extreme conditions such as chipped teeth, bleeding gums, and jaw soreness can be an indication of serious health problems and should not be ignored. Over the counter treatments and home remedies can often make these problems worse, and a visit the dentist is strongly encouraged for treatment.
But is your fear of the dentist hurting your oral care routine?
The Fear of Dentists and Dental Care
Dentist “phobia” or dentophobia is also called odontophobia and dental-anxiety. It’s the name used for “fear of the dentist” and is more than a strong dislike of dental procedures.
What are the causes of dentophobia?
There are two types of experiences that can result in a phobia:
A direct experience is the most common way for someone to develop a fear, and usually begins with a traumatic or painful event.
An indirect cause can be just as powerful, and some examples of indirect causes include:
- Vicarious Learning – the phobia may be learned from others’ experiences with dentists
- Stimulus Generalization – dental phobia may be linked to another fear such as hospitals
- Media and Television
- Feeling “Out of Control”
Never Fear the Dentist Again with Sleep Dentistry
Just as the name suggests, sleep dentistry (a.k.a. sedation dentistry) is a procedure where the dentist will use medication to help calm a patient. This practice can also be used to complete more dental work in a single visit.
There are 4 levels of sedation that may be used:
- Minimal (awake but fully relaxed)
- Moderate (slurring of words, and the patient might not remember much about the procedure)
- Deep (edge of consciousness but can still be awakened)
- General anesthesia (completely unconscious)
Sleep dentistry can be used to complete multiple procedures in fewer visits, and may also help patients with a dental phobia overcome their fears and anxieties. If you’re interested in sedation dentistry, ask your dentist if the treatment is right for you.