Tips for Relieving Dental Anxiety

Many patients have at least some anxiety when they meet with an oral surgeon. The prospects of surgery in the mouth can raise fears in some people, and occasionally those worries are so extreme that the patient may delay seeking treatment until the physical pain outweighs the psychological discomfort.

Procedures like surgical tooth extraction are important in preserving a patient’s oral health, and having problems addressed earlier can keep harmful oral diseases from progressing. So, if anxiety is holding a patient back from seeking treatment, that patient should look into alternatives that can make the experience a more comfortable one.

In particular, choosing sedation for tooth extraction can help fearful patients get the valuable oral surgery interventions that they need. In fact sedation now for even single tooth removal is a common mainstay for almost every type of patient.  Sedation dentistry helps patients achieve a deep state of relaxation during the procedure, after all, who wants to even feel the pressure or remember the experience of a tooth extraction. 

…choosing sedation for tooth extraction can help fearful patients get the valuable oral surgery interventions that they need.

With this technique, the oral surgeon will administer a specific medication, often from an anti-anxiety class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, to ease the patient’s nerves. The patient may take the medication orally in advance of the appointment (to give the drug sufficient time to achieve the desired effect), or delivered intravenously. The patient may also inhale a gas like nitrous oxide to relax.

For patients who might otherwise need to rely on full general anesthesia for oral surgery, deep sedation offers a good alternative. Full general anesthesia, with a muscle paralytic given, renders the patient unconscious and requires artificial airway maintenance during the surgery.

Under moderate sedation, it may seem that the patient is sleeping, but the patient actually remains conscious throughout the procedure. Sedation does not compromise the airway, either.

When the sedative wears off, the patient has no recollection of the appointment. This is another advantage of sedation for tooth extraction. The patient won’t have a bad experience that reinforces dental anxiety.

If your fears have kept you away from the oral surgeon, consider sedation as a solution to the problem. At your initial consultation with our dual degree oral and maxillofacial surgeon at ORA® Oral Surgery & Implant Studio, discuss your concerns and learn more about the different available sedation options to decide which one might be best for you.