Are You Afraid of the Dentist?
Among the most common phobias, visiting the dentist causes many people severe anxiety and stress. Often, fearful patients forgo necessary dental care to avoid a visit to their dentist. If you find yourself feeling panicky at the thought of having your teeth worked on, you should know that a safe, comfortable dental relaxation method exists. Sedation dentistry is used at our Reston dental facility to alleviate dental anxiety, so you can face dental appointments with confidence and no apprehension. We also use sedation for some of our other general dental treatments.
Do You Have a Dental Phobia?
If you fear dental appointments, call sedation dentist, Dr. Wayne Myles to determine if sedation dentistry through oral conscious sedation is available for you based on your medical history and current medications. If you’re a good candidate for oral sedation by oral sedation, Dr. Myles will select an appropriate anti-anxiety or sedative drug for you to take at a pre-determined time before your dental appointment. These safe, widely-prescribed drugs diminish dental anxiety and help patients relax.
Your anxiety level will help the dentist determine the dosage, which in turn determines your consciousness level during the appointment. Some patients become so relaxed they drift off into a restful sleep during their dental procedures. Throughout your appointment, we will closely monitor your vital signs to ensure your safety. When you choose sedation dentistry at our Reston dental office, you must have a responsible adult who can drive you to and from your appointment and spend some time with you after the appointment until the sedative wears off completely.
Why Choose Oral Sedation?
In general, oral sedation patients living in Oakton, Vienna, and Northern Virginia choose sedation dentistry if they:
- Experience severe anxiety and fear when faced with dental instruments
- Put off important dental treatment because of anxiety
- Have a sensitive gag reflex
- Have trouble feeling numb after receiving local anesthetic
- Cannot rest comfortably in a dentist’s exam chair due to neck or back problems
Oral Sedation Risks & Side Effects
The anti-anxiety medications used to achieve oral sedation have been prescribed and studied for years, so potential side effects are widely documented. These drugs are generally safe for most patients and have a low incidence of side effects, which tend to be minor.
Typically, dental patients who receive oral sedation experience:
- Retrograde amnesia, in which they recall little to nothing about the dental procedure
- Decreased post-operative soreness
- Dry mouth
We use sedation dentistry to ease the tension and anxiety a patient may feel whenever he or she is undergoing dental treatment. If you fear dental appointments, contact Reston dentist Dr. Wayne Myles to determine if sedation dentistry through oral sedation is available for you.
Understanding the Cost of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry can go a long way towards helping our most nervous patients feel safe and at ease throughout their procedures, which is why the Smiles by Myles team wants to do whatever we can to help make it financially feasible. While most insurance plans do not provide coverage for sedation, low-interest financing is available through several avenues (including CareCredit and Lending Club). At your first consultation, we will be happy to review the cost with you in greater detail so that you can proceed confidently with your treatment plan – no fear required.
Ready to wake up to a fabulously new, healthy smile? You’ll be amazed at how simple the entire process can be. To learn more about oral sedation and which type is right for you, contact us today or schedule an appointment online.
Sedation Dentistry FAQs
If the idea of going to the dentist gives you anxiety, you are not alone. Many patients feel anxious going to the dentist, and about five percent have anxiety severe enough to be classified as dental phobia. In Reston, Virginia, these patients may benefit greatly from oral sedation at the dental practice of Dr. Wayne Myles. Oral sedation refers to the use of commonly prescribed sedation medications to help patients relax during their appointments. Combined with the gentle approach of a compassionate dentist, oral sedation is an effective tool to help patients get the dental care they need. Dr. Myles is an expert in helping patients have a comfortable treatment experience, free from pain and anxiety. To learn more, contact us today.
What Are the Risks of Dental Phobia?
Usually, extreme fear of going to the dentist is the result of negative personal experiences during dental treatment. Someone who had a bad experience at the dentist as a child may develop a deep, lifelong fear that is debilitating because it is associated with the panic they felt at that time. However, fear of the dentist can be triggered at any point in life by a negative experience associated with dental treatment. For some patients, their severe fear is related to needle phobia. Oral sedation can block the panic response from dental phobia and needle phobia, so patients can be relaxed and comfortable during treatment.
What Causes Dental Phobias?
When dental treatment is avoided, gum disease is likely to eventually occur. We now know that health complications resulting from gum disease often extend beyond the mouth. Gum disease has been linked to increased inflammation in the body and, by extension, a higher risk of stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis. Loss of permanent teeth from tooth decay and gum disease can also lead to larger issues that affect your overall wellbeing. Potential problems include tooth and jaw pain, headaches, inadequate nutrition, sinus expansion, bone deterioration, and a compromised facial profile. Dental phobia can also rob patients of self-esteem, making them less outgoing and willing to smile.
How Does Oral Sedation Dentistry Work?
Oral sedation refers to the use of commonly prescribed sedation medications, called benzodiazepines, to help calm patients during their dental appointment. The patient is given a pill to take about an hour prior to their dental procedure. Depending on the dose, oral sedation can be minimal or moderate. With minimal sedation, the patient will be drowsy but still be awake, and they will feel very relaxed. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. The effects of the drug last for a few hours, so the patient will need someone to drive them home.
Is Oral Sedation Safe?
Benzodiazepines have undergone rigorous study and have been found to be safe and effective for most patients, with a low risk of side effects.
What Are the Side Effects of Oral Sedation?
Occasional side effects could include headache, nausea, or a jet-lagged feeling. Some patients experience an amnesic effect or limited memory of their procedure.
It is possible for you to receive your dental care in comfort. If you have been avoiding making a dental appointment due to apprehension, don’t wait any longer. Dr. Myles can help, and we offer oral sedation financing options to suit most budgets. Contact us to schedule a consultation for sedation dentistry today.