All to frequently, a planned isit to he dentist is looked on with a degree of dread and foreboding. This is referred to as dental anxiety.
Dental anxiety is not unusual, for it is quite natural for a person to be uncomfortable when placed in a position in which they feel they are vulnerable, as occurs in the dental chair.
It is important that the patient tell the doctor if they have any dental anxiety related to their planned dental treatment. Keeping their fears hidden can only lead to a much more unpleasant experience for the patient and, in more extreme circumstances, may even increase the likelihood of certain emergencies occurring such as fainting.
Once the sedation dentist is aware of the patient's dental anxiety, and fears, there are many ways in which these may be addressed. In some cases, simply discussing the planned procedure is all that is necessary to alleviate the patient's dental anxiety.
When this is not enough, other highly effective and safe sedation techniques can be used to alleviate dental anxiety. If the technique involves the administration of a drug, it is termed conscious sedation dentistry.
The most readily available routes of conscious sedation are: oral, inhalation, intravenous and intramuscular. For extremely fearful dental patients, general anesthesia may be required.