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Dental implants: Are you scared of the dentist? Then here is general anaesthetics (or narcosis) and conscious sedation. What to do, how to overcome fear, and what does dental phobia mean.

At the origin of the terror that many adults feel in regards of only the slightest mention of the dentist are often the harsh and unpleasant experiences had as a child during the first cures. An impatient doctor can ruin the trust relationship that must be created with a young patient, and this awful memory of pain and fear lasts a lifetime. It should not surprise us. The same thing happens when a child meets a teacher at school that makes him hate a subject that instead could have been interesting for him. Bad doctors and bad teachers can wreak great damage to the life of a child.

When such experiences have taken place the same state of anxiety and fear remains in the patient, who in the meanwhile in now adult. Usually by having some face to face meeting it is possible to overcome these fears and make the patient understand that now, contrasting to the past, it is he who commands. In whatever moment he is free to get up and stop the session. In any case it is his right to ask to not feel any pain. This in truth should have occurred even when he was a child...

However,  for unreasonable and uncontrollable fears of the dentist narcosis can be employed, that is a procedure that allows one to peacefully sleep while the dentist works on teeth and gums. The patient is put to sleep via gas and does not remember anything of the procedures. However, narcosis and sedation can only be practices in authorized and qualified structures, with the help of  a doctor specialised in dealing with anesthesia.

Narcosis (or sedation) is certainly the preferred treatment when numerous endoosteal implants are to be inserted for new tooth support, or in case special interventions must be carried out such as the lengthening or shortening of the mandible or the jaw, or for mentally impaired patients who are not able to collaborate. Usually, after the needed controls and check-ups the patient can be operated in general anaesthesia and sent home the same day . If instead the intervention is more complex, then it might be necessary to remain under observation for one day. As we will see there are other possibilities.

In conscious sedation the patient remains awake and fully aware of what is going on, but does not feel any anxiety or pain; this anesthesia simply instates in the patient a sort of relaxation and calmness, together with numbing of the mucoses, of nerves and gums. A sensation of sleepiness overcomes the patient so that injections of local anaesthesia can be done during the intervention without causing pain due to the needle. Usually, after a few visits the patient no longer presents any fear thus not requiring the procedure any further.

last update: 21 January 2008

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