If the thought of going to the dentist makes your heart race with fear, you are not alone. Dental phobia is one of the most common fears that adults experience. People fear the dentist for a number of different reasons including memories of a negative experience in the past, fear of pain, and general anxiety in unfamiliar settings. Whatever root cause is behind your fear of the dentist you may be able to find relief with the help of IV sedation anesthesia.
A negative past experience
If you had a negative experience at the dentist in the past it could be the factor that is causing your fear in the present. Many adults who experience dental phobia can trace it back to a traumatic dental memory from childhood. The experience may have been painful or scary but either way it left an impression. A negative past experience with the dentist can make it much more difficult for you to go to your regular appointments and may lead you to avoid going to the dentist completely.
Fear of pain
Fear of pain is another common reason that people avoid going to the dentist. Routine checkups that include x-rays and cleaning are usually relatively painless. However, other procedures like fillings, root canals, and extractions can result in serious pain. In an effort to avoid the potential for pain many people avoid the dentist altogether. This tactic almost always backfires though because the need for painful dental procedures is much more likely when you do not get regular dental care.
Anxiety in an unfamiliar setting
The unfamiliarity of a dental office can lead to fear and anxiety for some people. If you generally struggle to feel comfortable in new settings it can get in the way of you taking the step to become established as a patient with a dentist. There are a number of elements inside of a dental office that can cause anxiety. For some people, the sights, sounds, and smell of a dental office are enough to elicit anxiety and lead to complete avoidance.
IV sedation anesthesia can provide relief from fear
IV sedation anesthesia can help you overcome your fear and anxiety about the dentist so you can get the dental care you need. IV sedation will help you feel relaxed throughout your visit to the dentist. You will be monitored by an anesthesiologist the whole time to ensure that you do not experience fear, pain, or discomfort.
Using IV sedation during your dental visits will allow you to get the dental care you need without being overwhelmed by your feelings of fear. Having positive experiences at the dentist – with the help of IV sedation anesthesia – may even begin to lessen your fear and anxiety about the dentist over time.
Peter J Samuels DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.