Dental Anxiety vs. Dental Phobia

Dental anxiety usually involves feelings of unease, fear, or stress when just thinking about going to the dentist. Dental phobia is much more severe and sees patients feeling completely overwhelmed, even terrified, at the mere thought of having dental work done. A number of things may trigger dental anxiety and dental phobia:

  • Fear of needles
  • Fear of drills
  • The smell of a medical office
  • The sounds of a medical office (dental tools)

People who suffer from anxiety and phobia related to the dentist’s office might experience:

  • Feeling very nervous as your appointment gets closer
  • An increased gag reflex
  • Trouble sleeping before your dental appointment
  • Loss of appetite prior to the appointment
  • Feeling nauseated at the thought of going to your dental appointment
  • Feeling emotional or even crying prior to your dental appointment
  • Having trouble breathing or shaking when thinking about your appointment

These feelings are so unpleasant that actually keeping the dental appointment is a rare occurrence in those with dental anxiety and/or dental phobia.

Types of Sedation Dentistry

The Minneapolis sedation dentistry team at Brilliant Dentistry will use a means of sedation that we feel will provide the best result. Here are the three main types of sedation we utilize to keep our patients calm and comfortable:

Oral Conscious Sedation: This involves two pills usually. One taken the night before your appointment, and the second one taken one hour prior to your appointment. These pills are commonly referred to as “benzos” as they are in the benzodiazepine family. We will explain the drug’s effect and listen to any concerns you may have.

While sedated, you will be alert, able to answer questions, and respond to commands. You must have someone drive you to and from the dental appointment. The sedative effect may last for several hours, so please plan on doing nothing until the medication has completely worn off.

One of the most wonderful aspects of Minneapolis, MN sedation dentistry at Brilliant Dentistry is that the medications that sedate also have an amnesia effect. You will have little or no memory of the procedure performed, and many patients report this being the best part about the experience. They want no memory of the fear and anxiety they felt prior to the appointment.

Intravenous Sedation (IV Sedation): With this type of sedation dentistry in Minneapolis, patients receive the anti-anxiety medication (a benzodiazepine) through an IV rather than a pill. The day of your procedure, a numbing cream will be applied to the area that receives the IV needles. Using a catheter, an IV needle is inserted into the vein, and the medication goes immediately into your bloodstream.

While sedated, you will be alert, able to answer questions, and respond to commands. You’ll feel a deep state of relaxation, and your fear and anxiety will disappear. The sedative effects of IV sedation will last for several hours, and just like with oral conscious sedation, you will have little or no memory of the dental work performed. You will need an escort to and from the appointment, as you will not be able to drive a car as long as the medication is in your system.

NuCalm®: Science, neuroscience, and biology are combined in the amazing technology known as NuCalm®, an all-natural stress remediation device that allows you to be comfortable and relaxed during a dental procedure. NuCalm® is the first and only clinically proven method to relax the brain and body within minutes without the use of any medications. This innovative neuroscience technology addresses the brain’s activity related to stress response.

NuCalm® safely and reliably manages stress with three components:

NuCalm® Light-blocking Eye Mask is worn to block all visual stimuli while undergoing dental work.

NuCalm® Biosignal Processing Disc is placed on your left wrist; it delivers the biological signals your body needs to slow down brain activity and prepare for relaxation during your dental procedure.

NuCalm® Neuroacoustic Software uses vibration, resonance, and harmonic oscillations to allow recovery and restoration to occur naturally with no invasive procedures or drugs.

Relax with Sedation Dentistry in Minneapolis, Minnesota

If you have dental anxiety or know someone who has dental phobia that’s preventing them from having the dental work they need, please contact sedation dentist, Dr. Kevin Bril at Brilliant Dentistry, serving Minneapolis, Minnesota and surrounding areas. You may also fill out our online contact form, and one of our sedation dentistry team members will reach out soon to answer questions or schedule a new patient evaluation.