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Our Dental Blog

How Our Dentists Help Patients Overcome Dental Anxiety and Phobia

Posted on: December 21st, 2023 | Posted in Sedation Dentistry

Dental anxiety and phobia can be overwhelming, preventing many individuals from seeking essential dental care. The good news is that the dentists in our Back Bay dental office in Boston understand these fears and offer various calming and dental sedation techniques to help patients relax and receive the necessary treatment.

Understanding Dental Anxiety and Phobia

Dental anxiety and phobia are more common than you might think, affecting people of all ages. These conditions can arise from various factors, including fear of pain, past traumatic experiences, concerns about loss of control, and embarrassment about the condition of one’s teeth. Recognizing and addressing these fears is crucial for maintaining good oral health.

The compassionate dentists at Warshauer & Santamaria have developed techniques that can put many patients at ease without needing to resort to sedation. In many cases, however, a calming presence and atmosphere is not enough. Because of this our dentists have introduced sedation dentistry, including IV sedation dentistry in order to help fearful dental patients in the Boston area overcome their phobia.

Dental Sedation: An Effective Solution

Dental sedation is a valuable tool that dentists use to alleviate anxiety and phobia, making dental visits more comfortable and manageable for patients. Here are some of the forms of dental sedation dentists use and the ways in which the sedation helps patients overcome their fears:

  1. Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas):
    • Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is a safe and mild sedative administered through a mask placed over the patient’s nose.
    • It induces feelings of relaxation and euphoria, helping patients stay calm during the procedure.
    • Nitrous oxide has a short duration and allows patients to recover quickly, often driving themselves home after the appointment.
  2. Oral Sedatives:
    • Dentists may prescribe oral sedatives (usually in pill form) for patients with mild-to-moderate dental anxiety.
    • These medications are taken before the appointment, helping patients feel more at ease when they arrive at the dental office.
    • Oral sedatives can range from mild to moderate in strength, depending on the patient’s needs.
  3. Intravenous (IV) Sedation:
    • IV sedation is a stronger form of sedation administered directly into the bloodstream via an IV line.
    • It is typically used for patients with severe dental phobia or those undergoing complex procedures that need stay in the dental chair for prolonged periods.
    • Patients under IV sedation are conscious but deeply relaxed, with little to no memory of the procedure afterward.
  4. General Anesthesia:
    • General anesthesia is the most profound form of sedation, rendering the patient unconscious during the dental procedure.
    • It is reserved for particularly anxious patients, children, or complex surgical cases.
    • A trained anesthesiologist oversees the administration and monitoring of general anesthesia.

How Dentists Use Sedation Techniques

Dentists employ various strategies when using sedation techniques to help patients overcome dental anxiety and phobia:

  1. Customized Approach: Dentists assess each patient’s anxiety level and medical history to determine the most suitable sedation method.
  2. Clear Communication: Open and honest communication with the patient before and during their visit is essential. Dentists explain the sedation process, its effects, and what to expect during and after the procedure.
  3. Monitoring: Dentists and their teams continuously monitor the patient’s vital signs and response to sedation, ensuring safety throughout the procedure.
  4. Post-Procedure Care: After the treatment, dentists ensure that patients are fully recovered before they leave the office. This includes monitoring for any lingering effects of sedation.

Dental anxiety and phobia should not prevent anyone from receiving essential dental care. Our dentists are committed to creating a comfortable and stress-free environment for their patients. The use of various forms of dental sedation, tailored to individual needs, allows patients to overcome their fears and maintain optimal oral health. If you are looking for dentist in the Boston area that specializes in sedation dentistry we urge you too book and appointment with our dental office.

Previously recognized as "Best Dentist"

Boston Magazine Best Dentist
396 Commonwealth Ave., 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02215

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