Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting nearly 40 million Americans over the age of 18. Even more surprising, is how anxiety can affect oral health. As it turns out, many American adults who haven’t been to the dentist in several years have a secret: they’re afraid of the dentist.
Dentist anxiety has, according to a recent study published at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, kept between 9 and 15 percent of Americans from seeing the dentist. Without intervention, those with anxiety have reported that responses ranging from general uneasiness to an outright panic attack has occurred in past dental visits, dissuading them from returning.
Sedation Dentistry to the Rescue
Sedation dentistry, sometimes called “sleep dentistry,” does not actually cause unconsciousness. Instead, it utilizes medications or other drug-free treatments to help patients feel calmer while undergoing a procedure. Over the long-term, it can have the effect of helping to eliminate dental anxiety altogether.
Other benefits can include:
- Controlling a gag reflex
- Less pain
- Avoiding muscle soreness
Sedation dentistry can also make larger procedures more convenient by consolidating appointments into one, longer appointment.
Is Sedation Dentistry Right for me?
When considering sedation dentistry, patients should consider whether they would benefit from sedation to control anxiety, whether they are allergic to medications, and whether they’re in good health. For those patients seeking a drug-free alternative, however, we offer an option.
Drug-free Sedation Dentistry
By combining these techniques, sedation dentistry can help regulate your involuntary nervous system, which controls your stress response. It only takes a few minutes to take effect, and it can last for your entire appointment. Then you leave without any lingering grogginess. In fact, you’re likely to feel deeply rested and more energized.
If anxiety has been holding your back from important dental work, give us a call at (907) 349-0022 to meet our team at Excellence in Dentistry today. We look forward to helping you if you are in the Anchorage, Alaska area!