Fear plays a big part in all our lives. Fear can be what says, “STOP” before going down a dark alley but it can also be the same emotion that stops us from enjoying a roller coaster ride. Fear may block us from doing activities that are good for our health too, such as going to the dentist.
Going to the dentist can be nerve-wracking. Some face a very real Dental Phobia that makes it even more difficult to get proper oral care. The word “phobia,” while used casually often, is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as a "an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.” Depending on the severity of the phobia someone may never go to the dentist unless in extreme pain.
Whether it be a phobia, anxiety, or simply fear, between about 9% - 20% of people in the US avoid going to the dentist. This fear could be based on previous bad experiences at the dentist, fear of pain, or the feeling of lacking control while sitting in the dental chair. Severe embarrassment and loss of personal space has also been linked to why people avoid going to the dentist. Showing the personal area of the mouth which someone may already feel self-conscious about can be frightening.
Symptoms of more severe dental anxiety include, but are not limited to:
- Avoidance - Doing whatever possible to avoid going to the dentist. Some will only go when in extreme pain.
- Physically Ill - Becoming physically ill, stomach pains, headaches, or crying at the idea of going to the dentist.
- Difficulty Breathing - The very thought of going to the dentist may bring on severe anxiety, panic attacks, or feeling shortness of breath as the heart-rate increases.
Sedation Dentistry Can Help
As a resident in the already stressful Northern VA and metro-DC area, understanding which options are available to you may make going to the dentist less stressful. Maintenance and taking care of toothaches and pain as soon as possible is not only important for oral health but can affect the health of the whole body. Depending on the procedure and level of anxiety, sedation dentistry can range from having a pill that reduces anxiety to completely inducing sleep for the entire time. Sedation methods are usually used in addition to topically applied pain numbing medicine for pain-producing procedures. Add in a dentist that listens and cares and you’ll forget you’re even at the dentist.
Aside from IV sedation dentistry and nitrous oxide, the popular Oral Sedative method can be used for many different procedures and anxiety levels. With a mild dose, you might just feel relaxed or slightly drowsy but still very much awake. Certain medications or stronger doses may be used to induce sleepiness, yet you can still be easily awoken once the procedure is over. It is important to have someone else who can take you home afterwards.
Fear of the dentist can be immobilizing, yet the sooner teeth can be treated, less work there will have to be done. Especially if a patient is suffering from a cavity or signs of gum disease. Sedation dentists in Northern VA and the whole metro DC area offer patients with phobia, anxiety, or pain when sitting the chance to feel at ease and comfortable while at the dentist.
Find a Sedation Dentist in Northern Virginia
Find a sedation dentist in Northern VA, MD, or DC that knows how to respond to your questions and concerns. CNS Dentist, Dr. Schantz, has certifications and extensive experience in sedation practices. While some dentists in the Northern VA and metro DC area use IV or nitrous sedation methods, we understand that can be just as nerve-wracking. That is why CNS Dental offers non-IV oral sedation dentistry at our office on S. Glebe Rd. in Arlington, VA not far from Bailey’s Crossroads. Our goal is to help you be at ease and as comfortable as possible.
Our experience with sedation dentistry Northern VA and the metro DC area means we understand the right balance of medicine needed to help you feel comfortable sitting in the dental chair. Just remember to have a friend or family member pick you up after treatment is completed.
Find out more about our sedation dentistry procedure for dental phobia, anxiety, and other conditions such as gag reflex, or pain with sitting: CNS Sedation Dentistry
Contact Us Today with any questions!