Conquering Dental Anxiety: Elgin Dentist Discusses the Relaxing Powers of Sedation Dentistry
Dr. Dean Lodding of Smile for Life Dental explains how sedation dentistry techniques can provide patients who fear the prospect of dental care with a more relaxing, even pleasant experience.
Elgin, IL – Fear of dental treatment is quite prevalent across America. In fact, studies have shown that more than 50% of people in the U.S. suffer from some degree of dental anxiety. The condition is so common that it’s even been given its own name: “dental phobia.” Dr. Dean Lodding, a general and cosmetic dentist in Elgin, says dental phobia can be so severe in some individuals that they avoid visiting the dentist altogether, which can ultimately create serious oral health problems that may require major dental work for issues that could have been resolved with less invasive procedures if they were treated in earlier stages. But, Dr. Lodding says, advanced sedation dentistry techniques can be true game-changers for those with dental anxiety, and there are now several ways to provide patients with a more comfortable—even relaxing—dental treatment experience.
Nervousness and anxiety at the prospect of dental care can have a variety of causes. Fear of discomfort and the scents associated with chemicals and other dental materials have been cited as prominent triggers of dental phobia. Additional causes include a previous traumatic dental experience, fear of needles and the sounds created by dental instruments, sensitive teeth and gums, and other factors. Dr. Lodding says it’s completely understandable why some patients are anxious, but the combination of a careful and compassionate approach by the dental team along with the utilization of sedation dentistry techniques can help alleviate the dread for many individuals by easing their anxiety and giving them a way to relax their mind and body throughout the treatment process.
At Dr. Lodding’s practice, Smile for Life Dental, he offers two popular methods of sedation dentistry: nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. Nitrous oxide has been a standard relaxation technique in dental offices for many years. Often referred to as “laughing gas,” this option involves the inhalation of nitrous oxide during treatment, which creates a temporary relaxation effect that wears off just seconds after the procedure is complete. Oral conscious sedation is typically offered in cases where the patient may need or desire an even higher level of relaxation during dental treatment. Dr. Lodding says this method requires the patient to take a small pill before the procedure begins. By the time treatment starts, they should feel so relaxed that they may even drift off to a light sleep. Although oral conscious sedation is designed to create a strong state of relaxation, Dr. Lodding says the patient should still be alert enough to be able to communicate with the dental team throughout the treatment process, and vital signs are continuously monitored. He notes that oral conscious sedation will take a while to wear off following the procedure, so this sedation dentistry technique will require patients to arrange for transportation to and from the dental office.
Ultimately, Dr. Lodding says, advances in dental care have made it possible for individuals to avoid sacrificing necessary dental treatment because of dental anxiety. He explains that sedation techniques can not only help patients conquer their fear of dental treatment, but also reduce the risk of serious consequences such as tooth loss, pain, and general health conditions that have been linked to poor oral health. With sedation dentistry options, Dr. Lodding says many patients can look forward to a more relaxing dental treatment experience—and perhaps even a pleasant one.
About Dean Lodding, DDS
Dr. Dean Lodding is the lead dentist at Smile for Life Dental in Elgin, Illinois. Dr. Lodding is on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and is the former president of that organization. He is also a Founding Member of the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health, a certified member of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, and a National Chairperson for the Give Back a Smile program. Recognized as one of America’s Top Dentists, Dr. Lodding leads a team of dentists and dental professionals at Smile for Life Dental that offers a comprehensive array of restorative and cosmetic dentistry options, in addition to a range of family dental care treatments. Dr. Lodding is available for interview upon request.
Smile for Life Dental
2001 Larkin Ave. Suite 120
Elgin, IL 60123