There are things to be afraid of: clowns, Roseanne Barr, the Thigh Master, a shore break at Huntington, your mother-in-law, and Survivor Season 27. Coming to see Dr. Fong for a cleaning and exam or other needed work shouldn’t be one of them. That’s why we offer sedation for our patients who need it.
Some people, whether it’s due to a past bad experience or just one too many viewings of Marathon Man (“Is it safe?”), have an extreme fear of the dentist. While it may not be based in the reality of modern dentistry, the fear is real. That’s why we offer sedation to take the edge off.
Who should opt for sedation?
The problem with this deep-set fear of the sitting in a dentist’s chair can make a patient skip or delay routine appointments and other needed trips to our office. This can create problems down the road that never would have come up with regular maintenance and attention. Sedation can help patients overcome their fears. Sedation is useful for patients with the following traits:
- You have a high level of anxiety about the dentist.
- You have had bad experiences in the past.
- You have difficulty responding to local anesthesia.
- You have a strong gag reflex.
- You have TMJ troubles and cannot keep your mouth open for extended periods.
- You are afraid of needles.
- You have very sensitive teeth.
- The smells and sounds of the dentist have negative associations.
- Your procedure will be lengthy.
The sedation we use
Dr. Fong uses conscious IV sedation and oral conscious sedation for his anxiety-prone patients. Conscious IV sedation is not “general sedation,” where the patient is completely unconscious. In conscious IV sedation the patient remains conscious but is in a state of deep relaxation. The patient can communicate with Dr. Fong and is able to follow instructions, but will remember little or nothing of the appointment afterwards.
For patients who want to avoid injections and needles, oral conscious sedation is a good choice. An oral sedative, such Valium or Halcion, is given to the patient prior to treatment. This doesn’t make the patient sleep, but it makes them basically forget everything about their appointment.
Fear that upcoming trip from your mother-in-law, but don’t fear your next regular appointment with Dr. Fong. Call us at (714) 549-1903 and ask about our sedation dentistry options.