Scared of the dentist because of my needle phobia!

I am deathly afraid of needles and I have to get four teeth out tomorrow afternoon. I haven’t slept for two days and cannot fathom the thought of being stuck with a needle tomorrow. You probably think I’m crazy but I don’t care. The dentist recommended I wear a sleeping beauty mask so I can’t see the needle. But I won’t be able to go through with that because that makes the phobia worse. I at least have to see it coming. Any ideas or recommendations to help me keep calm?

– Joel in California

Joel,

Sorry to hear about your phobia. Did you know that about half of Americans deal with some kind of dental phobia or fear. You are not crazy. Most dentists have a topical numbing agent that will dull your senses on the gums. Sometimes people say they can’t even feel the shot.

But honestly, you sound like someone that is truly terrified. Sedation dentistry may be the ideal treatment for you to make it through your appointment. Have you ever heard of oral sedation? If your dentist didn’t mention it, he or she may not offer it. So depending on the urgency of your situation and your current comfort level with this dentist, you may want to see a dentist that caters to cowards. These types of dentists will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and relaxed. Sedation dentists offer oral sedation which is simply a medication that is prescribed and taken in pill form, prior to your appointment.

You won’t be “knocked out” like you would be under general anesthesia in a hospital. But you will be completely indifferent to what is going on. It will feel as if no time has passed and will put you into kind of a “sleepy” state. You will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. But you will not feel anything and you probably will not remember anything that happened at the appointment. Good luck! From the sounds of it, you sound like a sedation dentistry candidate.

This post is sponsored by Atlanta cosmetic dentist Flax Dental.

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Posted in: Cater to Cowards Dentist, Sedation Dentistry