Fear of dentists, or fear of dental procedures to be more precise, is something that every dentist encounters on a daily basis. There is only a small number of people who are feeling completely relaxed when they are visiting their dentist. The rest of the patients usually feel certain level of nervousness and stress. Fear is often the result of certain childhood trauma, from the time when dentists didn’t use anesthesia although there are many objective and subjective factors that can lead to a significant fear of dentists.
In some cases, this fear is so great and intense that patients avoid visiting the dentist’s office for years although they are experiencing great pain and even when they finally visit a dentist their problems still exist. If the fear is experienced to a degree that interrupts the proper work of the dentist or if this fear results in serious psychological consequences for the patient, dentists are looking for an alternative solution. They are looking for a way to successfully perform the procedure that is out of the standard protocols because the anxious patient can endanger their safety and health.
Luckily, the advance of technology has allowed many dentists to fight these fears with great success. They are offering patients who have dental fear of lesser or greater extent to use conscious sedation. The sedation itself allows the elimination of panic, fear, discomfort, soothes the patient and at the same time allows uninterrupted dental operation.
Conscious sedation can be practiced in two different ways. The first option is to use oral sedation during which the patient drinks one or two tablets that will soothe relax and provide more comfortable work.
The other type of sedation is the so-called intravenous sedation. Conscious sedation in an intravenous way is a method that relies on the presence of an anesthesiologist and it is mostly applied in major dental and surgical procedures that can last for hours.
Intravenous sedation is a procedure that starts by taking a look at the medical history of the patient or with a conversation between the anesthesiologist and patient about their condition. The patient is admitted into sedation 15 minutes prior to the surgical intervention. The patient is then given a local anesthetic and the intervention can begin. The patient is in a semi-conscious or semi-awake state all the time.
Upon completion of the intervention, the anesthesiologist slowly gets the patient out of sedation. In most cases, patients can’t remember what happened.