Why are People Afraid of the Dentist?
It’s normal to feel a little nervous prior to a dentist visit. Oftentimes, we are concerned that the dentist will locate cavities or notice that we haven’t been flossing as much as we should be. Some people, on the other hand, experience such anxiety, dread, and fear associated with professional dental care that they will avoid visiting the dentist until a problem has reached a point where only emergency care can help.
Experts at the American Dental Association estimate that between 30 and 40 million Americans avoid visiting the dentist because of overwhelming feelings of dental fear and anxiety. Unfortunately, when oral health problems are left untreated for extended periods of time, you run a higher risk of developing tooth decay, advanced gum disease, and other conditions which will eventually require extensive restorative procedures. Dr. Colin Lathrop and our team truly care about our patients and we want everyone to feel good about visiting our office. In addition to a calming environment and friendly, attentive care, we provide a full range of dental sedation options to help even very fearful patients relax in the treatment chair.
Our Dental Sedation Services
- Nitrous oxide. More popularly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide has provided a safe, predictable, effective sedation option since the mid-19th century. Nitrous oxide is inhaled through a soft mask and it produces sensations of euphoria, giddiness, and detachment and is appropriate even for our younger patients.
- Oral sedation. Oral sedation provides an effective option that’s as simple as taking a single little pill. About an hour before your procedure, you take a dose of anti-anxiety medication. By the time you sit down in the treatment room, you will feel very relaxed and detached from the procedure at hand. Contrary to popular knowledge, you do not actually fall asleep while under oral sedation. You can still answer Dr. Lathrop’s questions but you will feel unconcerned and tranquil.
- Oral sedation and nitrous oxide. Some patients need a deeper level of relaxation. In these cases, we can combine nitrous oxide with oral sedation to produce a profoundly relaxed state of mind.
- IV sedation. We partner with a trusted anesthesiologist to come in our office and provide IV sedation. This type of dental sedation is delivered via an ultra-thin needle, creating an almost immediate sense of tranquility and detachment that can be reduces or intensified, depending on your needs. IV sedation is recommended for patients with extreme dental fear and anxiety, special needs patients, and in conjunction with surgical procedures like complex extractions and dental implant placement.