Dental Anxiety – Springfield IL – What can I do about it?

Dental anxiety or fear about visiting the dentist is quite natural. In fact, about 15% of Americans are fearful about going to the dentist & tend to avoid dental check-ups. Most people are not able to understand why they feel so anxious about going to the dentist. According to experts, needle phobia, & previous memories of bad dental experiences are among the reasons behind dental anxiety. The dental procedure that patients seem to be most fearful about is none other than root canals. Thus, for those suffering from extreme dental anxiety, the best option for them is to go for sedation dentistry.

Dentistry in which sedatives are used before a dental procedure is performed so that the patient remains calm & relaxed during the procedure is known as sedation dentistry. Anti-anxiety medications, nitrous oxide & tranquilizers are some of the typical sedatives that are used. In the past, sedatives were administered intravenously, where the dentist would inject the sedatives into the blood vessels of the patient’s arm or hand. However, as mentioned, needle phobia is one of the reasons behind dental anxiety & the use of needles only made patients even more anxious.

Fortunately, many alternatives have now emerged due to the advancements in dental technology, & dentists no longer need to use injections to administer sedatives. These days, dentists are able to administer sedatives orally or in the form of anti-anxiety medication. Patients no longer have to worry or be anxious about being poked with sharp needles. As for the dental procedure, the sedatives leave patients really relaxed & allow them to experience no pain throughout the procedure.

There are several ways in which sedation dentistry is not only beneficial for an anxious patient but also for the dentist as well.

At times, dental procedures, such as a root canal, can indeed be really painful & as a result of this, patients only tend to feel more anxious. Anxious patients can even prove to be a distraction for the dentist as well. The sedatives administered cause patients to feel numb & relaxed. Thus, dentists are able to concentrate better on the dental procedure they are performing & the patients feel no pain.

Dentists usually find it hard to carry out treatments if their patients are really anxious & stressful. This can wear out the dentist, causing them to take a lot more time to complete the dental procedure. Thus, when the sedatives are administered, the dentists are able to perform the dental procedure more effectively & can save time too, while the patients remain unaware of the treatment.

While dental anxiety is quite natural, the best thing that patients can do about their anxiety is find a sedation dentist they trust.  Dr. VanderMolen has the experience & knowledge you need.  For more information on Sedation Dentistry or to schedule a consultation, contact us at 217-546-3333 or

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