Humans are born to feel fear. It is a part of our development to experience such an emotion. The feeling of dread creeping through your body as you prepare for the worst is unimaginable. There are a lot of things that people are scared of and these are usually referred to as phobias. Most common ones are fears of animals and insects like snakes, spiders, lizards and dogs. It can be a debilitating fear, and it affects a lot of people than you might think. However, these can be avoided and you can always just run away from it. Most of them don’t even attack unless provoked either.

The Fear Of The Dentist – Is It Real?

There is one fear that can be quite considered bizarre. This is because we actually need this one and yet there are a lot of people who are afraid of them. They are the dentists, the people who are supposed to take care of your teeth. However, there are so many people who fear going to the dentist. This might be seen as normal for children as they are afraid of a lot of things. There are adults as well who are suffering from this kind of phobia. Fun fact: there is an official name for this kind of fear called dentophobia. Learn more about this here.

There are a lot of theories pertaining to how this originated. Most of the time, people subscribe to the traumatic explanation. This entails that the person has a negative experience with a dentist or a similar person in the past. Usually, this happens during childhood, although it can also be connected to other medical personnel. There were cases wherein a person experienced molestation when they were with a doctor but this is such a rare case. When it does happen and someone finds out, the doctor would immediately lose their license.

On the other hand, there are just people who are afraid of general medical procedures. Whenever they think about any kind of operation, doctors opening their bodies up are one of those that come up first. It can also be because of a traumatic experience, but most of the time it’s all about the anxiety. Needles are also common in a lot of medical fields. People are afraid of them because of the notion that it can prick you and travel through your bloodstream. The sight of needles also triggers so many people into anxiety. Read more about this fear and how to get over it here:

If the patient is really afraid of the procedure and the entire experience, it can be a really detrimental problem. This is especially true in cases wherein the operation is already needed but the patient wants to run away. Life-threatening situations regarding the teeth and oral cavity is not common, but they do tend to occur. If the person is more afraid of the treatment than the outcome, it is a serious problem. When they try to run away, that’s the time when dentists would ask the guardian if they want to try sedation.

Sedation is a form of anesthetic that relaxes or calms the person. Sometimes, it does include general anesthesia which knocks a person out for a while. However, this is usually grouped in sleep dentistry well for reasons seen on its name. Most dental clinics have these now like Digital Dentistry Southpoint. There are a lot of ways that a dentist can administer sedation for the patient.

Ways Dentists Sedate Patients

  1. Laughing Gas

Most of us are familiar with this one as many have experienced being under the influence of this chemical. It is scientifically known as nitrous oxide. It is inhaled by the patient through a mask attached to a tank with oxygen. Once a person inhales the said substance, they tend to relax and ease away their anxiety. The dentist will make sure that you have inhaled enough to undergo the procedure. It will go away faster than other types of sedation and you can go home on your own.

  1. Oral

Another type of sedation includes getting the patient to take a medication to help them relax. There are variations with the drug used and can affect the person mildly or heavily. It is usually taken before the procedure so that the drug will have enough time to work. The patient is still aware during the effects of the drug but there are some who falls asleep. It is easy to wake them up though and the effects may last longer than laughing gas. This is the next option used when the prior sedation technique does not work with the patient.

  1. Intravenous

Another option that a patient could take would be through an IV tube. It still uses similar drugs except it is in liquid form. The dentist can control how much is needed so that the person could relax during the operation. Most dentists do not really use this method unless absolutely necessary.

  1. Anesthesia

General anesthesia will leave the person unconscious. This will let the dentist do their job a lot easier. However, not all dentists have the capacity to do general anesthesia. Most of them would just use the first two options. On the other hand, if the patient will undergo a severe operation then this is usually the option chosen for sedation. It lasts for a long time unless the patient will take in drugs that will counteract the effects of anesthesia.

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