If you don’t enjoy seeing the dentist, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that around 9-20 of all U.S. adults avoid visiting the dentist due to fear and anxiety. However, not all dental anxiety is the same. Some people just have a bit of apprehension when going in for a filling or a tooth extraction, while others may start to panic before they even walk through the door.
Corah’s Dental Anxiety Scale was developed to help doctors and patients understand the issues. This questionnaire helps people to understand the level of dental anxiety in a dental patient. Based on the results of the questionnaire, patients are placed into one of four primary categories: little or no anxiety, moderate anxiety, high anxiety, and severe anxiety.
9 or Lower – Little or No Anxiety
If you tend to have an easy time at the dentist, your score will likely be a 9 or lower. Individuals with scores like these may not enjoy the dentist, but they don’t suffer from significant dental anxiety.
9-12 – Moderate Dental Anxiety
If you score a 9-12 on this scale, you’re categorized as having moderate dental anxiety. You may feel nervous about seeing the dentist or receiving oral care – especially if you have a specific trigger, such as the sound of dental drills or the medicinal smell of a doctor’s office.
However, this level of anxiety can usually be remedied by acknowledging or avoiding the specific stressors, and is often overcome with mild sedation dentistry.
12-15 – High Dental Anxiety
Scores of 12-15 often result in high levels of dental anxiety. Physical reactions like sweating and panic attacks are common for this range. Most parts of the dental experience make you feel uncomfortable or scare you, and sedation dentistry may be the best option when receiving any kind of dental care.
15-20 – Severe Dental Anxiety (Phobia)
If you score a 15-20 on Corah’s Dental Anxiety scale, you may have dental phobia. Every aspect of meeting with the dentist scares you, and the mere idea of visiting the dentist may make you feel physically ill or frightened.
Typically, sedation dentistry is necessary for patients who have dental phobia, and cognitive-behavioral therapy is often recommended for severe, intense cases of dental phobia.
Sedation Dentistry – The Key To Overcoming Dental Phobia
For patients who are uncomfortable visiting the dentist, sedation dentistry can be an excellent solution. Conscious sedation dentistry is implemented using laughing gas or oral pharmaceuticals to reduce feelings of pain and anxiety, and is used commonly to treat dental anxiety.
IV sedation is more rare, but may be administered to patients who have serious dental phobia or are receiving extensive dental work. IV Sedation allows patients to remain in control of their body, but they may not remember the procedure or treatment.
Sedation allows patients to remain much calmer during dental procedures, and is the best way to treat patients who have significant levels of dental anxiety.
Visit Libby Dental Today – We’re Sedation Dentistry Specialists!
If you believe oral sedation dentistry or IV sedation is right for you, Dr. Landon Libby at Libby Dental can help. Our skilled and gentle team is made up of San Diego sedation dentistry experts, and we’re dedicated to helping you feel safe and comfortable during all of your dental procedures.
Don’t let dental anxiety prevent you from getting the oral care you need. Schedule an appointment with Libby Dental at (619) 276-6884, send us a message on our website, or visit our office at 2333 Camino del Rio S #310, San Diego, CA 92108.