Millions of people put off going to the dentist because of dental anxiety or dental phobia. Dental phobia is a much more serious condition than dental anxiety. Any person with dental anxiety will eventually get in the dentist’s chair, but people with dental phobia will avoid the dentist’s office for as long as they possibly can. 

adult woman covering her mouth with her hand

Your Wilmington, Delaware, sedation dentist can offer patients a number of ways to relax prior to and after their dental appointment. Many people who’ve not been to a dentist in years are discovering the wonders of sedation dentistry. If you have dental anxiety or dental phobia, please read on to learn how dentists are helping to make you feel more comfortable during your visit.

We will look at:

  • Symptoms of dental anxiety and dental phobia
  • Types of sedation dentistry
  • Benefits of sedation dentistry

Symptoms of Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety will manifest in a number of different ways. Dental phobia symptoms most often seen include:

  • Sweating
  • Racing heartbeat or heart palpitations
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fainting
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Upset stomach/nausea
  • Visible distress, crying, or signs of panic
  • Using humor or aggression to mask anxiety
  • Increased gag reflex

The severity of these symptoms differs in each patient. Some patients may have only one or two of the above symptoms while others will have several. Your Wilmington, Delaware, sedation dentist will be able to identify these symptoms and can then discuss sedation dentistry options with you.

Symptoms of Dental Phobia

The signs and symptoms of dental phobia are usually much more severe than those seen in dental anxiety. People with dentophobia, also called odontophobia, may have extreme anxiety at the thought of going to the dentist or while in the dentist’s office. They will feel utterly panicked and overwhelmed and will likely not be able to go through with their appointment. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, “about 36% of people in the U.S. have a fear of dental treatment, with 12% having an extreme fear. About 3% of adults in industrialized countries may have dentophobia and avoid going to the dentist at all.” You are definitely not alone if you have an overwhelming feeling of dread about going to the dentist.

The symptoms of dental phobia are very much the same as dental anxiety but to a greater degree. The dental-phobic person may:

  • Sweat profusely
  • Shake
  • Vomit
  • Faint
  • Hyperventilate

What Causes Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia

Dental phobia can be brought on by any number of circumstances including:

  • A traumatic dental or medical experience
  • Trauma to the head
  • Abuse
  • PTSD or anxiety disorder
  • Fear of loss of control
  • Trust issues
  • A belief that the mouth is a vulnerable place that should not be violated

Sedation Dentistry Benefits

Your Wilmington, Delaware, sedation dentist will use nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas” or anti-anxiety medication, prior to your visit to sedate you. You will feel relaxed, calm, and comfortable, but you must have someone drive you to and from your dental appointment. You will not be able to drive or go about activities of daily living until the effects of the sedation have worn off fully.

One of the most wonderful aspects of sedation dentistry is that the sedating agents also have an amnesiac effect, which means you will likely not remember the procedure or your fear associated with the dental work.

Another benefit of sedation dentistry is that the sedation allows your Wilmington, Delaware, dentist to perform the necessary dental work more quickly and efficiently because you are not fully awake to cause delays in the appointment. With a relaxed, comfortable patient in his chair, your sedation dentist can perform the necessary work without interruption. You’ll awaken refreshed, comfortable, and happy to be finished with your dental appointment.

Learn More About Sedation Dentistry in Wilmington, Delaware

With the wonders of sedation dentistry, there’s really no reason to put off much-needed dental care any longer. Please contact Dr. Michael T. Rosen at (302) 994-0979 today to schedule your new patient examination. Or, you may fill out our online contact form, and one of our amazing dental team members will reach out to answer your questions or schedule your evaluation.