Dental Phobia

According to the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, 30 percent of the population avoids the dentist due to fear. I actually thought it would be a higher percentage. I am one of these people with ‘dental phobia.’

It may be irrational, it might even seem silly, but I am petrified of dental work. I have nothing against dentists, they are professionals doing important work. But I am very squeamish when it comes to the potential pain that accompanies dental procedures. Yes, I am a wimp – a card carrying wimp, at least when it comes to the dentist.

I found a wonderful sedation dentist who provides sedative drugs which allows me to be awake but unawares. I find it works wonderfully for me. The dentist can do lots of work that might take several visits all in one session. I have no memory of the session, as if I was asleep through the visit, but I am told that I maintain a level of consciousness that allows me to cooperate with the dentist.

Having a driver to take you home after the procedure is important. I am often still under the effects of the sedation until after I arrive home. On my last visit, I became unaware on my way to the dentist and regained my awareness after I was home. I had no recollection whatsoever of the dental surgery.

The dental hygienist at this particular dental center deal with phobic patients such as myself all the time. For cleaning, I forego the full blown sedation but the hygienist does provide extra topical anesthetic and nitrous oxide to raise my pain threshold.

Are you afraid of the dentist? I hope not, but if you are, like me, you can still take care of your teeth by seeking out a sedation dentist. I had stayed away from dentist for years unless a dental problem forced me to go. Now I maintain regular appointments. Be aware that most, if not all, insurance does not cover the sedation portion of the dental service. Even though my insurance does not cover the sedation, I find it well worth the expense and better for my well-being.

Take care, and keep smiling.

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