Stop dreading dental appointments with conscious sedation dentistry in Wake Forest, NC
Are you nervous before a dental procedure? Maybe you feel uncomfortable at the idea of a routine checkup and cleaning. Or, terrified to think about calling to make an appointment or walking into the reception area. You are not alone. Dental anxiety is a real condition, and it keeps countless individuals in the Wake Forest, NC area from getting the oral care they need. Dr. Edmund Suh soothes these fears with conscious sedation dentistry.
Comprehending dental anxiety
Fear is a natural human response to a threatening or potentially dangerous situation. It activates parts of the brain (primarily the amygdala and hypothalamus) that trigger biological changes:
- Dilated pupils.
- Elevated blood pressure.
- Increased heart rate.
- Muscle contraction.
- Sharpened senses.
These reactions support your fight-or-flight instinct, preparing you to battle a predator or escape hazardous conditions. For people with dental anxiety, the autonomic nervous system and sympathetic nervous system respond to stimuli in a clinical environment, or even the thought of it. This response may be related to a past, unpleasant experience, or to the exaggerated stories told by others. In some cases, dental phobia is triggered by loss of control, personal space, fear of dying, or other deep emotional issues.
Regardless, it sabotages wellness in several ways. It causes people to simply put off scheduling dental appointments – sometimes for many years, despite discomfort, trauma, or obvious problems with the teeth or gums. Many are embarrassed to admit they have dental anxiety. That vague shame unnecessarily adds to the psychological load. The mindset is contagious. Impressionable children pattern their behavior after that of adults they respect. If you don’t have a healthy attitude toward dental care, it may rub off on the kids in your life. Physical responses to anxiety increase trauma from dental procedures and impede natural healing processes. When you “fight” the efforts of the dental team, you are likely to go home with a stiff jaw, tense neck, and procedure sites that don’t heal as quickly as they might otherwise.
Oral conscious sedation resolves these issues, getting your dental health back on track and letting you enjoy an attractive smile.
Start looking forward to pleasant dental appointments
Conscious sedation dentistry is the use of oral medication to calm anxiety centers in the brain. This technique does not block physical pain. Rather, it works with anesthetic (local numbing) to ensure a relaxed and painless dental experience.
Dr. Suh prescribes a medication, usually in the diazepam, triazolam or lorazepam family, based on your level of anxiety and medical history. Treatment protocol varies, but typically, you take a dose the night before your appointment to sleep well, and another the morning of your visit. The medication may cause grogginess, so it is important to have a ride to the dental office and home afterward.
During your appointment, you are relaxed, but conscious, breathing naturally. You can respond to conversation, use the restroom, and signal the dental team if you have any discomfort. You are simply unconcerned about clinical sights, sounds, smells, and activities. Some patients watch movies or listen to music, while others doze off. This relaxation of mind and body permits Dr. Suh to complete treatment gently and efficiently.
Throughout the appointment, you are not left alone, and vital signs are monitored. Risk of side effects from medication are extremely low. Expect to rest for the remainder of the day, and wake the next morning feeling refreshed. Since the medication has an amnesic quality, you probably won’t have much memory of the procedure. That sets a good frame of mind for future visits.
Who is a good candidate for sedation?
In addition to overcoming dental anxiety, oral conscious sedation can be a good choice for:
- Anyone who is afraid of needles.
- A patient who tends to salivate a great deal during dental treatment, or has a hyper-active gag reflex.
- Someone who needs extensive treatment or multiple procedures, and wants to minimize the number of appointments.
- A person with physical or mental challenges that make it difficult to sit still for the duration of a dental appointment.
Dental anxiety does not discriminate – it keeps men and women from all walks of life from enjoying the benefits of good oral health. Call Dr. Suh in Wake Forest, NC at 919 556 6200 for the solution – conscious sedation dentistry.