For some people, visiting an experienced dentist in Scranton, PA can be a harrowing experience. Dental phobia is a very real fact of life as pointed out by Lindsay Myers in her recent BrainBlogger post, which cited several surveys in and out of the United States
A survey of 1,882 individuals in the U.S. found an adult prevalence rate of “high dental fear” between 11.2 and 12.3 percent. Another 17.5 to 18.2 percent of respondents indicated moderate dental fear, and 15.5 percent avoided dental care out of dread. Outside of the U.S., a 2009 study in the Netherlands found that “the prevalence of dental fear was 24.3%, which is lower than for fear of snakes (34.8%), heights (30.8%), and physical injuries (27.2%). Among phobias, dental phobia was the most common (3.7%), followed by height phobia (3.1%) and spider phobia (2.7%).
Dental anxiety can be overcome through various means like establishing trust with the patient and a more open doctor-patient communication—a process that may take a while. Hence, for dental emergencies, a number of patients opt to be put under sedation. Fortunately, there are dental practices that offer sedation dentistry in Scranton, PA like Back Mountain Dental and they can assure that the patient’s visit to the dentist would be as relaxed as possible.
Sedation can be applied in different ways and can have varying affects. IV sedation is one of the more popular methods used for sedation dentistry, though it can have a higher price tag than other options. It involves intravenously injecting the sedative into the patient; it doesn’t actually make the patient completely unconscious, though. You’ll feel sleepy, but you will be conscious enough to follow instructions. You will be monitored by qualified nurse anesthetist or member of the dental team throughout the procedure and you won’t remember much of what happens.
If you dislike needles, oral sedation is a reasonable alternative and it typically comes in pill form that a patient must take an hour or so before the procedure. Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” is a popular choice as well. For both oral and inhalation, mild sedation is preferred, but heavier doses are also given depending on the case or a patient’s level of anxiety. These types of sedation just relax though; anesthetic injections or numbing creams may be applied directly on the gums to block out the pain that may come with procedures like tooth extraction or root canal.
With sedation, it’s possible to enter a dentist’s office and go through with your appointment without being plagued by your usual anxieties. Indeed, patients suffering from dental phobia can finally receive the dental care that they need.