Fear of the dentist

Dentist looking into a patient's mouthApproximately one in six patients are nervous about dental appointments. For some that fear is so intense that it is classed as dental phobia; Dental phobia can cause panic attacks and severe anxiety at even the thought of a trip to the dentist.

Many people are so fearful or anxious about visiting the dentist that they let their oral health suffer as a result. Many dentists report that nervous patients often have problems with their gums, with infection and gum disease being common amongst anxious patients.

It is important to see a dentist regularly so that they can assess and deal with problems before they worsen and become potentially become irreversible, painful or expensive. With modern dentistry, there are many techniques and methods to help overcome dental anxieties and make the dental experience comfortable and maybe even enjoyable.

RA Sedation

RA stands for relative analgesia. This sedation is a mix of nitrous oxide and oxygen adjusted to suit each patient. It is sometimes known as laughing gas. Different people need a different mix of these gases to achieve a feeling of being warm, cozy and far-away.

After around five minutes or so of breathing in the gas, a euphoric feeling spreads throughout your body. Some people feel a bit light-headed and often people get the giggles. It is a dangerous gas that should only be administered by dental professionals, such as Harley Street Dental Clinic.

Nitrous oxide was a recreational drug for some people in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, when laughing gas demonstrations were a popular source of entertainment and enjoyment.

IV sedation

IV sedation is an effective way to treat the most nervous of patients. It is administered via an injection. If the patient hates the needle bit, it is possible to use the RA sedation first to relax you and reduce sensations and then the injection is quickly over without anxiety. Many dentists find this a great way to do it to ease their patients’ worries.

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The drugs have a relaxing and calming effect but don’t stop the communication between dentist and patient, so treatment can still be carried out easily.