Ninety percent of North American adults consume coffee on a daily basis. Caffeine (in coffee) is the most
widely used psychoactive drug in the world but we don’t think of it as a drug. How about Penicillin? It opened the way for the treatment of microbial diseases. Without it, 75% of the population today would not be alive because their parents/grandparents would have succumbed to infections. Before penicillin if you had a serious infection… you died!!
What’s the difference between a medicine and a drug?
A ‘medicine’ is ANY substance that is designed to prevent or treat a disease but, a ‘drug’ is designed to produce a specific action in the body. That can be confusing. I guess Sigmund Freud was just using ‘over the counter’ medicines (cocaine) for a disease called depression??! Oh wait depression wasn’t a disease back then…it was a psychosis caused by….but I digress! What is not confusing is that used under the correct supervision drugs can be a fantastic way to help prevent diseases! That’s right!! Periodontal diseases, cavities, dental abscesses etc. are all health risks that need treatment. If a sedative allows you to get treatment to cure a disease then I say that a drug is a medicine…in a safe environment, confusing??
What is not confusing is the fear of the dentist! IT’S REAL!!
30 to 40 million people in the United States avoid the dentist because of fear. This fear is understandable. The dental experience is not inherently pleasant. Think about it this way…. You are in a private room with a light in your face! You are leaned back into a vulnerable position. Your mouth is propped open and may even have water sprayed in it…your gag reflex may be triggered not unlike the reflexes during waterboarding!! Further your mouth is examined with sharp tools and maybe drills. To make it worse you are going to have a very private place (mouth) ‘judged’! I am surprised the fear of the dentist isn’t higher! We all here in this office understand how traumatic this can be for some patients. We have been performing IV sedation for over 10 years and it has changed lives! 40% or more of our patients have suffered dental anxiety at one time or another. You’re not alone! Besides, research shows (Journal of American Dental Society of Anesthesiology) that a sedative prior to anesthetic is safer than no sedation. Think about it….if you are relaxed your adrenalin/anxiety/blood pressure are down requiring less anesthetic. Also, the calmer you are the calmer the doctor is! The more the doctor can stay focused on dentistry the better quality the work! The ultimate win win!
Call us and ask about your options, some might surprise you but either way…there is no reason to fear the dentist. It should be Fear Free Dentistry….Sorry, I had to get that one in.
Dr. Steven Little