Dental Phobia and Its Cure

posted by Dr. James G. Hood
Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Are you living with damaged teeth? Or living in excruciating pain? Then you, my friend are suffering from dental phobia or odontophobia. Study shows that 40 percent of people in developed countries fear their dentists. In the US alone, 30 to 40 million people stay away from them due to fear. There really is no reason when sedatives are available to help. Sedatives relax patients by supressing the central nervous system and making them impervious to pain and external stimuli.

People opt for sedation if, they are too excitable and may have a gag reflex, they have a fear of needles, they need to get the job done quickly, or if the procedure is extremely complicated.

The three most common forms of sedatives, often prescribed are –

  1. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) – It is the most used and a mild form of sedation. After administered, the person is able to breathe on their own and may fall asleep and experience slight amnesia later. After treatment, the nitrous oxide is turned off and oxygen is administered for five to 10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. This method is largely preferred because the recovery time is way less and side effects are almost non-existent.
  2. Oral sedation – As the name suggests, a pill or liquid is given orally which brings a state of relaxation. It is usually given about an hour before the treatment begins. The person may feel sleepy and some amnesia afterwards.
  3. IV sedation – It is a form of deep sedation and needs more care and expertise than the other forms. Here, the medicine is directly given into the blood stream in the form of an injection. Though a needle is used here, anaesthesia could be applied at the place of application to make it painless. IV sedation works faster and gives the dentist full control. The patient won’t fall asleep and will have only a vague remembrance of the procedure the next day.

Sedation dentistry, sometimes referred to as conscious sedation, has worked wonders in the field of dentistry, making it more efficient and less daunting. While choosing their career, dentists would never have thought that they would be one of the most fear-inspiring guys in all professions. Sedation dentistry, if nothing else, will definitely give a much needed boost to the popularity of dentists and relieve some of the fear.



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