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  • By Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
  • November 9, 2018
  • Do you have a hard time relaxing at the dentist’s office? Dental anxiety is not an uncommon condition. It’s estimated that between 9-20% of Americans will ignore going to the dentist out of fear and anxiety.

    Unlike general anxiety, dental phobia can be a much more serious illness that can leave patients terrified to the point they totally avoid going to the dentist, which can cause their dental conditions to worsen. In most cases, these patients will not address their dental conditions until they experience extreme pain.


    Fortunately, for patients dealing with an intense fear of the dentist, sedation dentistry can help patients feel comfortable at the dentist. Whether you need to go to the dentist for a regular tooth cleaning or a more extensive treatment, sedation dentistry is a great way to ease your anxiety and minimize discomfort.

    What is Dental Anxiety?

    Dental anxiety is characterized by an irrational fear of the dentist due to a fear of pain, fear of injections, fear of anesthetic, fear of loss of control, embarrassment from loss of personal space, and more. Below are some more symptoms of dental anxiety:

    ●     Difficulty sleeping the night before a dental appointment

    ●     Feeling nervous in the dental office waiting room

    ●     Crying or feeling physically sick at the thought of the dentist

    ●     Feeling agitated at the thought of having a dental treatment

    For some patients, dental anxiety might be more severe, while other patients might suffer from more moderate forms. If you are dealing with any level of dental anxiety, we highly recommend talking to our dentist and asking about sedation dentistry.

    Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

    The primary benefit of sedation dentistry is the ability to feel relaxed and comfortable during dental appointments. Beyond this obvious benefit, patients will also enjoy the following benefits:

    Dentists Can Work More Quickly

    When patients are under the effects of sedation, they are less likely to need breaks and move around. Patients with dental fear often get nervous and twitchy in the dentist’s chair, which can make it difficult for our dentists to get their work done. If you would like to spend less time in the dentist’s chair, sedation dentistry will improve our dentist’s ability to finish your treatment more efficiently.


    Eliminates Fear and Anxiety

    As we mentioned earlier, fear and anxiety of the dentist are usually more uncomfortable than the actual treatment itself. Some patients will experience anxiety for weeks before their appointment. Sedation dentistry gives patients the security and comfort of knowing they won’t feel any more anxiety as soon as they are in their dentist’s chair.

    Eliminates Pain Associated with Treatments

    For a lot of patients, the fear of pain associated with dental treatments is the primary cause of their dental anxiety. After all, nobody enjoys pain in the teeth and gums. One large benefit of sedation dentistry is that the fear of pain will disappear, allowing patients to receive anesthetic that will make them comfortable during their treatment.

    Relieves Fear from Bad Experiences

    Many patients experience dental anxiety due to bad memories of the dentist from childhood. A bad experience at the dentist’s office, even if it occurred years before, can stick with a patient, causing him or her to never go back. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to a patient’s dental health. Fortunately, sedation dentistry alleviates the memory of the treatment once the sedative wears off.

    You Can Still Respond to the Dentist

    When a patient is sedated, he or she will still remain awake, allowing the patient to still be able to respond to the dentist. Sedation dentistry doesn’t cause the patient to fall asleep, instead, it allows the patient to feel more comfortable and relaxed during the treatment. If a dentist needs to ask a simple question, such as opening your mouth wider or tilting your head, the patient will be able to respond accordingly.

    Reduces Gag Reflex

    While gag reflexes are important for general overall health, patients with sensitive gag reflexes can affect a dentist’s ability to do their job. With sedation dentistry, the gag reflex becomes temporarily paralyzed, allowing our dentist to work more efficiently while allowing you to feel much more comfortable.



    Are you interested in sedation dentistry and all of the benefits it has to offer? Call the Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today at 850-810-0300 at our Destin location or 850-810-0600 at our Panama City Beach location.

    Hours of Operation

    Monday8:00am - 4:00pm
    Tuesday8:00am - 4:00pm
    Wednesday8:00am - 4:00pm
    Thursday7:00am - 3:00pm
    Friday7:00am - 3:00pm


    We offer free cosmetic consultations.

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