I Have Dental Phobia: Can Sedation Dentistry Help?

Happy Woman Undergo Dental Procedure | Solomon Family Dentistry in Summerville & Mount Pleasant, SC

If you deeply fear the dentist, you’re not alone. it’s a phobia many people share, and its reasons are complex. However, dental phobia can keep you from getting the necessary care. there are solutions.

Some experts estimate that more than a third of the population has dental anxiety or dental fear and more than 10% have more extreme fear, or phobia. If you’re one of those people, you know exactly how difficult getting even routine dental care can be.  

At all of the locations of Solomon Family Dentistry, our highly qualified dentists are trained to help you manage dental fear. But, we also know that sometimes, there’s no overcoming that fear, and it’s more important to figure out a way to get the care you need, despite the phobia. We find that sedation dentistry is often a very good solution.  

The difference between anxiety and phobia

When you have dental anxiety, you feel distressed or uneasy when you go to the dentist. You may feel as if something terrible will happen during your treatment. It’s uncomfortable, but you can probably get through it, and you won’t likely avoid the dentist altogether.  

A dental phobia, on the other hand, is a more exaggerated fear. You may feel terror even just considering the dentist. People with dental phobia often avoid getting proper dental care and may experience poor oral health outcomes. Many people with dental phobia end up in the emergency department.  

Sedation dentistry

Whether you have anxiety or a full-blown phobia of dental procedures, sedation dentistry could be the best way to get the dental care you need. We offer several options, including: 

Nitrous oxide

You breathe in nitrous oxide through a mask. It helps you to feel relaxed and may make you feel a bit sleepy. However, you remain away throughout the procedure, and the effects fade quickly enough that you can drive home.   

Conscious sedation

This form of sedation dentistry involves taking medication before your appointment to be more relaxed. You will need someone to drive you when you have conscious sedation.   

Intravenous (IV) sedation

This is the most powerful type of sedation used in dentistry. We give you an IV that makes you go to sleep, similar to what you’d receive during a surgical procedure. Typically, we use IV sedation for longer procedures, such as surgeries. You need a driver when you receive IV sedation.  

Choosing sedation

If you experience anxiety or phobia at the dentist’s office, we strongly encourage you to talk to us about it before we do any procedure. We can recommend how you might relax or what level of sedation is likely best for your situation.  

Getting dental care throughout your life is important both for good oral health and for your overall health. If you avoid the dentist, you’re more likely to need more invasive procedures or even go to the emergency department.  

We have six locations for your convenience. Schedule your appointment at the Solomon Family Dentistry location that works best for you and learn more about your sedation dentistry options.

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Fred Solomon, DMD

Frederick Solomon, DMD, is an experienced general dentist and founder of Solomon Family Dentistry, with five locations in Summerville and one in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. He is proud to be able to offer comprehensive oral health care to so many communities in South Carolina. 

Dr. Solomon started out with a small dentist office in Summerville, just off of Beauregard, which had two treatment operatories and one operatory for dental hygiene. Over the years, Dr. Solomon has expanded the practice, building a new office and moving down the highway off of Royal Road. His intention of starting a small practice to help the community has now progressed into a larger dentist office that reaches out to patients in the Summerville, Moncks Corner, Goose Creek, and surrounding areas.

Dr. Solomon graduated from St. Andrews High School and continued on to complete his undergrad studies at the University of Maryland. From there, he came back to Charleston to complete his education for dental school at MUSC and has resided here ever since. 

When not in the dentist’s office, Dr. Solomon enjoys spending time with his wife and family and picking up a good book for the occasional read.

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