You’re sitting in the waiting room, your palms are a little sweaty and your heart is beating a little faster than normal. You’re waiting for someone to call you through for your dreaded 6 monthly appointment at the dentist. The room, the smell, the person poking around in your mouth. You like your dentist, you have nothing against them but you hate what they do!
Does this sound familiar? Many patients experience anxiety with dental visits so you’re not alone. Thankfully, here at Dental at Joondalup we have a variety of anxiety relief methods available depending on the level of anxiety you have.
Sometimes all you need is a bit of reassurance and gentle care, which we’re more than happy to provide. In fact, we’re confident that we already do so!
Occasionally, we may need to use a combination of light sedation medications (in the form of tablets and a self-administered inhalational aid). This is very safe and suitable for the vast majority of patients with dental anxiety.
We also have nitrous oxide (laughing gas) which is also very safe and effective for patients with mild-moderate anxiety.
For very nervous and anxious patients who have to undergo a significant procedure i.e. surgical extractions, we have the service of conscious sedation available. Conscious sedation is also known as “sleep dentistry”. A trained professional who is specifically trained in the administration of sedation is called into the practice and administers you anaesthetic to produce sedation. You are responsive during the procedure but won’t remember anything afterwards. This is generally safer than hospitalisation and general anaesthetic as you are not sedated as heavily.
A lot of patients don’t know these options are available so this information is here to inform our patients. Ask your dentist about the sedation methods available if you’re really anxious about the intended treatment plan. It doesn’t cost anything to ask! Our dentists will be more than happy to facilitate care via the sedation methods above.