Fear of the dentist is no laughing matter – it is the UK’s number one fear. According to National Smile Month, almost half of UK adults experience some kind of dental phobia, with 12% feeling extreme anxiety.
And while this is difficult enough on its own, it also has dangerous consequences. It can stop people going for regular check-ups, which could lead to tooth decay and gum disease and even lost teeth. If a tooth is lost, it may stop someone from seeking help from their dentist, such as those at Northlight Dental. This is a shame because there are ways to address fear of the dentist and it would be a pity to miss out on long-lasting and secure restorations such as dental implants in Milton Keynes, because of anxiety.
What can be done to combat dental phobia?
All dentists will come across nervous patients. Those who work to restore teeth know it can be a particular issue, which is why dentists who fit dental implants in Milton Keynes offer conscious sedation to help address this. It comes in three forms: inhaled, oral and intravenous.
Inhaled sedation uses nitrous oxide gas – also known as laughing gas – plus oxygen, which the patient breathes in through a mask over the mouth. This is a very mild form of sedation and wears off quickly.
Oral sedation is administered via a tablet that the patient takes about an hour before the implant surgery. The most commonly used pill is Halcion, which is similar to Valium – so some drowsiness may be experienced afterwards.
Intravenous sedation is injected straight into the blood stream with a needle. This works instantly, and the dentist can continually readjust the level of sedation.
Whichever form is used, the patient remains awake but relaxed and able to respond to questions. They may not remember the procedure afterwards, and if they’ve receive oral or intravenous sedation, they’ll need someone to drive them home.
An important point to remember – sedation isn’t anaesthetic. Patients will also receive a local anaesthetic at the implant site to numb the pain. The sedation doesn’t kill pain, what it does do is act on the nervous system to produce feelings of calm, so anxiety is eased.