How Dentists Deal With Patient Anxiety

Many people have an inordinate fear of having any kind of dental work done; the result of this fear is extreme anxiety. To these patients it does not matter what procedure they are facing, it can be something as simple and painless as an examination or something more traumatic such as a root canal. Dentists in Chicago IL can offer these patients various types of sedatives, the type that the dentist will choose is based the concerns and needs of the patient. The options that are available produce different results and each is employed for a specific purpose.

There are patients who, although anxious, will still prefer to remain conscious and aware of the procedure, for these patients the dentist in Chicago IL will normally opt for nitrous oxide, a gas which is inhaled by the patient. Nitrous oxide is commonly called “laughing gas”, it actually does not induce laughing but it does act as a mild anesthetic, lessening sensitivity.

Laughing gas also tends to make the patient feel as if he or she was slightly inebriated or to feel euphoria. Nitrous oxide has no long term or lasting effect; once the mask is removed the patient regains normal composure very quickly. The gas is introduced to the patient through their nose.
Oral sedation uses prescription drugs to induce a similar feeling of well being. The most common drug used by dentists is Valium which is a form of the drug benzodiazepine.

Valium or a derivative thereof is given to the patient orally; the common forms are tablet and capsule. These drugs relive anxiety by depressing the patient’s nervous system, thus acting like a sedative. Like any drug there are certain side effects that the patient should be aware of, however, as a result of the pre-procedure interview the dentist will know whether this is a potential issue or not. Some patients may become nauseous or have other sensitivity issues.

Nitrous oxide and oral sedation are the two most commonly used methods; another method at the disposal of the dentist in Chicago IL is intravenous sedation. The drug that is used to deaden the pain or reduce severe anxiety is administered directly into the patient’s bloodstream. The patient will remain conscious throughout the procedure so that he or she can follow the instructions of the dentist but will be completely at ease and totally relaxed.

If you exhibit anxiety when you go to the dentist then you are invited to make an appointment with a dentist in Chicago IL that understands. Call Chicago Smile Design and arrange for a consultation with Dr. Peter M. Tomaselli.

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