Does the thought of going to the dentist cause you to break out into a cold sweat? Do you cringe at the sound of dental equipment? Have you put off going to the dentist for an extended period of time—even if you needed dental care—because you were afraid to go? If you answered yes to these questions, you should know that you’re not alone. Dental fear—sometimes called odontophobiadental phobia, or dentophobia—is a reality for millions of people. It’s estimated that about 75 percent of adults in the U.S. experience some fear of going to the dentist, ranging from mild to severe, while about 10 percent of adults are so fearful that they avoid dental care altogether. The problem with dental phobias or fears is that avoiding oral health treatment can significantly impact the health of your mouth, and your overall health and well-being. Getting regular dental treatment is just as important to stay healthy as your annual checkup at the doctor. Plus when you avoid preventive dental care and only seek treatment in emergency situations, it’s a self-fulfilling fear because the work needed will often be more extensive and potentially more painful than if you went to the dentist on a regular basis and could prevent severe toothaches, infections, and emergencies. If you avoid the dentist because you’re afraid, you might want to consider the benefits of sedation dentistry.

The Basics on Sedation Dentistry

Generally speaking, sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to help patients feel more relaxed during their procedure(s). It may include oral sedatives, or intravenous (IV) sedatives, both of which can relieve anxiety and reduce stress.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

First and foremost, sedation dentistry provides patients with the ability to see a dentist on a regular basis for preventive and ongoing care without the stress and anxiety that they might normally feel during these appointments. Since regular dental care can often prevent more severe problems, such as gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss, it’s important to see a dentist at least once or twice a year. Another key benefit of sedation dentistry in Meridian, ID is the “amnesia” effect, where patients will remember very little of the procedure after it’s over. Patients also feel little to no pain during the appointment, which helps you stay relaxed the entire time. Finally, sedation dentistry can increase the amount of time a dentist is able to work on your teeth without you, as the patient, becoming exhausted or uncomfortable. That means you can get more done during a single appointment and reduce the need for additional appointments in the near future—an added benefit even for people who aren’t afraid of the dentist but a hard time fitting the dentist into their schedules. Sedation dentistry, when performed by dental professionals with the right training and experience, is a safe, effective, and affordable treatment option for those who are fearful of going to the dentist. Find out more about IV sedation dentistry available at Grant Dental in Boise & Meridian, ID.

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