I had a tooth infection. It took until the pain was unbearable to get me to the dentist because of my anxiety. He did a root canal treatment. It was just as bad as I remembered the dentist being the last time. Because of that, I didn’t really go back to get the dental crown placed on the tooth. When the dentist’s office didn’t follow up with me I felt relieved. However, the tooth eventually started hurting again. I finally got to where I couldn’t handle the pain anymore and went to see another dentist. He agreed it was again infected and felt the tooth was in too bad of shape to save it. He wants to extract it but said it will be quite involved. He gave me two choices. I could have it done in a hospital under anesthesia or save money by doing it in the office. Here’s my problem. Is taking the less expensive option dangerous for me? Is there anything I can do to keep the appointment from being as horrific as the last few?
It seems like your dentist may have unintentionally left you with the impression that having it done by a dentist is unsafe. This isn’t necessarily true, though it may be beyond the abilities of your dentist. That’s where I would start. Ask him what his comfort level is in doing this type of extraction. You don’t want him in over his head. If he says he’s fine with it and has done several like yours, you are perfectly fine to go ahead having an in-office extraction.
If he’s not comfortable doing it, you can still go that route but you will need to use another dentist. If that happens, I’m going to recommend a specific type of dentist to make this an anxiety-free appointment for you.
Use a Sedation Dentist
You are not the only one to face dental anxiety. A large segment of the population feels the way you do about dental care. Fortunately, there is a solution. A sedation dentist will provide anti-anxiety medication for you.
Dr. Becker does this with nitrous oxide. This is sometimes called laughing gas. It relaxes you and keeps you in a state of ease during your entire procedure. It also makes any anesthetic you’re given more effective, thereby giving you a pain-free appointment as well.
Once your procedure is completed, your dentist simply switches the nitrous to pure oxygen and, in a few moments, you will be completely lucid and ready to take on your day. You could even drive yourself home.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.