Sedation Dentistry for Dental Phobia


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If after looking into various techniques to deal with your fear of dentistry you find yourself still anxious and with difficulty coping, then sedation dentistry might be the option for you. Sedation dentistry uses safe, tried, and tested pharmacological tools to help anyone with severe anxiety or nervousness.

What is sedation dentistry?

Simply put, sedation dentistry is the practice of using chemical agents to induce a state of relaxation and comfort. As you can imagine, this is an easy and convenient option for anyone comfortable with it, and there three broad categories of sedation techniques available to this end.

  • Inhalation sedation – infamously known as ‘laughing gas’, involves inhaling a sedative through a mask.
  • Oral sedation – involves using either pills or liquids to ingest a sedative.
  • IV (intravenous sedation) – which involves the use of a needle to inject a sedative directly into your bloodstream.

Each method has its own pros and cons, and ultimately it is down to what you are comfortable with and what your dentist deems is the most appropriate tool for your health.

Is sedation dentistry for me?

Sedation is only really a viable option if you are comfortable with being sedated during a procedure, and don’t mind the process of being sedated. One of the causes of dental phobia can be a fear of the loss of control involved, and as sedation leaves you in an altered state, this can be a cause of some distress for anyone suffering from this kind of generalised fear.

Certain kinds of sedation dentistry are more suited to specific phobias than others. IV sedation, for example, is not an option for people afraid of needles or pain. Instead, they can choose oral or inhalation sedation if they are comfortable with those.

Sedation dentistry is great for phobics and particularly for procedures which can be quite invasive and unpleasant, like extractions for example. If you feel that sedation is a good option to help you relax, or if your fear is procedure specific, and can provide you with an easy method of relaxation if you are in more urgent need of a dental procedure.

Sedation dentistry is not a good idea if you feel at all pressured into the option or have any issues with sedative drugs, trust, and/or control. Again the best thing you can do is to talk to your dentist or even your GP about what option would suit you best. At the end of the day there are plenty of alternatives, and it’s worth taking the time to look for the best option for you.


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