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How I.V. Sedation Can Help You Get The Care You Need For Dentophobia

Jul 3, 2008
Robert Parker hated going to the dentist. So, over the years, he just didn't go. "I had a bad experience in high school," said Parker, a 35-year-old auto service technician.

"I broke some of my teeth playing sports and had to have two root canals, which were done without anesthesia." Robert Parker has a relatively common phobia: the fear of visiting the dentist, or "dentophobia." His dental health and possibly even his physical health have been affected because of his phobia.

But dental work can be put off only so long, and adults are faced with extensive work to repair problems that have been neglected over the years. But it doesnt mean the fear is gone.

The term I.V. refers to the use of drugs delivered intravenously. Using an I.V. pump that delivers non-barbiturate-based sedatives, the dentist can bring patients to a state where they dont hear or feel anything, yet they are breathing on their own.

The I.V. system allows dentists to monitor and adjust the level of drugs more precisely than any other method. By using non-barbiturate medications, patients can be awakened more quickly and can go home from the office fully awake, without the usual grogginess and nausea associated with traditional I.V. anesthesia.

So-called "Twilight" dentistry uses pills or gas to produce grogginess, but the patient is still awake. I.V. sedation dentistry benefits patients who are phobic, people with allergies to barbiturate-based sedatives, patients with specific medical conditions and children who cant sit still or cooperate.

Robert Parker had a root canal, three crowns, three fillings and cleaning, all done while under I.V. sedation."When I learned about this option, I jumped on it, because its the only way I would ever get my teeth taken care of," says Robert Parker.
Many people can overcome these fears by becoming comfortable with their dentist and familiarizing themselves with the procedures and instruments that will be used in each treatment. During the first appointment, the phobic patient should discuss his or her fears with the dentist and review the treatment plan that the dentist recommends.

Patients who fear a specific part of dental treatment, for example, fear of the drill, should ask the dentist to let them have a look and listen to the drill first.

It often helps to get used to things before the treatment begins. Patients can also arrange to use a pre-arranged signal for their dentists to stop if they feel pain or discomfort during a procedure.

This helps to build trust in the dentist and provides the patient with a feeling of control. Once the patients fears are brought under control, subsequent visits should be scheduled relatively close together to help the patient reinforce and maintain his or her comfort level.
About the Author
LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery in Newport Beach. Learn more about dentophobia
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