What is fear of the dentist?
Fear is a feeling of anguish caused by the presence of a real or imaginary danger. It is a feeling of distrust that leads to believe that an event contrary to what is desired will occur. When this response is exaggerated we must speak of phobia.
Phobia is a deviation from the normal response to danger. In this case, the fear is directed towards an object or situation that does not represent a real danger. Although the person who suffers the phobia recognizes that his fear is irrational, he cannot control his reaction.
According to a survey by the public health service of the United Kingdom, 36% of people have a moderate fear of going to the dentist, and 12% suffer extreme fear (phobia). That is, the fear of the dentist, although it has been decreasing a lot in recent years, is quite normal, and certainly not something that should embarrass anyone.
It is well known that, today, a dental treatment does not represent any serious danger to health. Rather the opposite, the risk runs when you do not remedy the problems that arise. Denture problems, such as cavities or inflamed gums, do not heal on their own.
They get worse over time, and therefore are much easier to solve when detected in early stages. Let’s not forget, moreover, that a healthy mouth is directly related to good general health. Delaying our review visits for fear will only complicate our oral health.
The main causes of fear of the dentist are usually the fear of pain, the fear of a bad experience repeated or influenced by the environment, the fear of the unknown and, among the most common fears reported by patients, is shame that can result in going to the dentist knowing that oral health has been neglected.
The opposite of fear is trust. What can help you in this regard? Mainly the fact of feeling surrounded by people who inspire confidence, offers you all the information you need to reduce uncertainty and treat you with respect, empathy, care and affection.
Remember that the professionals who look after you are your allies. Use your help to face and overcome your fears, and do not be ashamed to discuss it with them.
We are very aware of the feeling of vulnerability that many patients feel.
Many people lose their fear as they accumulate positive experiences and get to know the people who treat them and as a result they are more willing to maintain good oral health.
What is conscious sedation?
We understand conscious sedation that anesthetic procedure whose objective is to cause a state of well-being and relaxation in the patient. It is not a general anesthetic. The patient is conscious at all times, but without nerves, anxiety, or nausea. For the patient, the treatment seems to last a few seconds and is always very comfortable.
What professional is accredited to perform a conscious sedation?
Conscious sedation can only be done by a doctor specialized in anesthesiology and resuscitation.
In which cases would a conscious sedation be indicated?
An indication would be those patients who suffer from fear (or terror) to go to the dental office. Sometimes, what makes them go to the dentist is the pain caused precisely by problems that appear after long periods of time – sometimes years – without going to the periodic reviews of a preventive nature.
Another indication would be that of those patients who are going to perform a complex dental intervention (multiple implants, complete rehabilitations, grafts, complex surgeries, etc.). In these cases, even in quiet patients, the duration of the procedures can be a little long and tired.
Also, patients with several relatively simple or conventional treatments (reconstructions of teeth, oral cleansings, curettages, endodontic, etc.) that would require several visits to the consultation can be done in a single session with sedation, with the advantages in time, travel and comfort.
What would be the risks of conscious sedation?
Any human activity has some risks (from entering the shower or going down stairs, for example). In the case of conscious sedation, the patient is relaxed, calm, without anxiety. It is monitored and monitored at all times by an anesthesiologist who does not leave your side.
Although we cannot say that there is no risk, we can say that the risk would be less than when we take something as usual as a sleeping pill. When taking sleeping pills, we are asleep for several hours without having a specialist by our side monitoring and taking care of us.
What precautions should I have before and after a conscious sedation?
The rules to follow before a dental sedation would be the following:
- Do not take food 4 hours before
- Do not drink fluids 2 hours before
- To inform the medical team of all those personal circumstances (drugs that are being taken, diseases, allergies, drug addictions or toxic habits, etc.) that may influence the medical treatment
- In case of taking any medication, the rule will be to continue taking it, unless otherwise indicated
- At the time of admission to the clinic, the patient must report any anomaly or problem that may have appeared since the last visit
The rules to follow after a sedation will be the following:
- Leave the dental center accompanied by a family member or friend
- Do not drive vehicles of any kind during the twelve (12) hours after the treatment
- Do not carry out potentially dangerous activities or operate heavy machinery during the twelve (12) hours after treatment
- Do not drink alcohol or any toxic substance during the twelve (12) hours after treatment