Tag Archives: dental anxiety

This Patient Needs Sedation and a Second Opinion

I’m in a new city and developed a bit of a toothache on a tooth that already had a filling. It seems to come and go, but I was concerned so I went to the dentist. That’s was actually a huge deal for me because I hate going to the dentist (no offense). He said he could tell by the x-ray that the tooth was almost completely eaten away. He wanted to extract it and begin the process for bone grafting and a dental implant. He did give me an antibiotic in preparation and asked me to schedule out front. I wanted to double check before I did that. It took almost everything for me to go to the dentist this time. I don’t think I can get through an extraction. Can you think of another option?

Felicity M.

Dear Felicity,

An image of someone's eye closed, maybe from sedation dentistry

Please bear in mind that I haven’t examined your tooth, but I will admit that something sounds fishy about this. If your tooth were really in that bad of shape, you should have been in pain for quite some time and not a come and go type of pain.

Not only that, but a cavity that large would have been visible to the naked eye. Not only would he not have needed an x-ray, but the filling would have almost positively fell out…or into the filling. I strongly feel you need a second opinion.

When you do get your second opinion, don’t let them know the first diagnosis or who you went to see. Instead, just go there and describe your symptoms. That way the dentist won’t feel pressured to back up a peer.

You may find all you need is a simple filling or porcelain crown.

Dental Sedation to Make Dental Visits Anxiety-Free

It’s normal that the idea of you going to yet ANOTHER dental appointment is probably leaving you with cold sweats, but let me put your mind at ease. Many patients who deal with dental anxiety, some so extreme they have a panic attack at the idea of going to the dentist have found going to a sedation dentist to be just the solution they needed.

For some with mild anxiety, just getting nitrous oxide (commonly known as laughing gas) is enough to relax them and allow the local anesthetic to work. Others need a stronger form of oral conscious sedation. Many patients don’t realize that dental anxiety makes it harder to stay numb with the local anesthetic, which contributes to their fear of the dentist to begin with.

This could be a life-changing experience for you.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Theodore Hadgis.

Can Dental Sedation Kill Me?

I am the queen of “What could go wrong?” I see the possibilities of death everywhere. Even when my appendix became inflamed I made a pro/con list to decide whether I had a higher chance of dying from the surgery or from the appendix. I opted to wait until my appendix burst, which it did. Then I had to have surgery. I was pleasantly surprised that I woke up afterward. So, you can see that I’m a little frightened of things which I have little control over. I’m having a dental procedure. My dentist said he highly recommends I have sedation because of my anxious nature. However, I can’t help but worry that this can kill me the way anesthesia from surgery can.

Miranda K.


Grosse Pointe Sedation Dentistry
You’re not alone in your fears. In fact, many Americans are on anti-anxiety medications for that very reason. While there is risk with any procedure, sedation dentistry is very safe. In fact, in the case of some patients such as those with heart disease, epilepsy, or those at risk for stroke, using sedation actually makes the procedure safer.

This is completely different than the type of sedation you get with surgery. Dental sedation is called oral conscious sedation. You have control over your bodily functions throughout the procedure, but are completely relaxed. Most people simply sleep through the procedure.

The thing to do is speak with your dentist about all the risks. Then, ask him about the precautions he takes. For instance, is there someone in the room keeping an eye on your vitals throughout the procedure? What are their procedures if something goes wrong? Knowing the answers to these things likely will put your mind at ease.

You should know that patients who try sedation dentistry often say it changes their life. Where they used to be terrified of the idea of going to the dentist, now they look forward to it. You’ll also find you’re able to do more work during each appointment. So, whether you need several fillings, several crowns, or tooth extractions it’s much easier to have the work done all at once instead of going to office several times.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Theodore Hadgis.

Why Did My Parkinsons Doc Tell Me to Get a Dentist?

I have Parkinsons Disease. I was just diagnosed. I saw the specialist today. He prescribed some medication then asked me to make sure my dentist keeps an eye on my teeth. I mentioned I don’t have a dentist because my teeth have always been healthy, and I’m not fond of dentists. He said get one and then left. Will this medicine destroy my teeth?

Leon – Washington


Parkinson’s Medication can cause teeth grinding. That’s likely what your dentist is concerned about. Teeth grinding causes serious problems. Not only can it cause TMJ, but the grinding destroys your teeth.

Healthy teeth can go down quickly. You mentioned not being fond of dentists. You should know you’re not alone in that feeling. If it’s because you’ve had some rough experiences with the dentist, I’ll recommend you try sedation dentistry. This allows you to have a pain-free dental experience. It’s worth looking into now that you’ll need to go to the dentist more regularly.

You can likely tell if you start grinding your teeth during your waking hours. Unfortunately, most of it is likely to happen at night while you’re asleep and won’t notice. If you start getting jaw pain or headaches in the morning, that is a sign you are grinding your teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Theodore Hadgis.

Are There Dentists Who Specialize In Fearful Patients?

Are there dentists who don’t mind working with fearful patients? My dentist seems to get tired of how frightened I get during my dental appointments. It’s to the point where I am considering not going to the dentist anymore.

Denise – Kansas


I’m sorry your current dentist is making you self-conscience about your anxiety. It shows a lack of consideration to his patients.  There are dentists who not only don’t mind fearful patients, they enjoy treating them.

Generally, they are driven by both compassion and a desire to help you feel differently about dental care.  You can find them by doing a search for a “sedation dentist” or a “cater to cowards dentist.”

Many of them used some form of sedation, such as oral conscious sedation. It allows you to have appointments that are completely pain free, simply by taking a pill.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Theodore Hadgis.

Will I Be Loopy With Sedation Dentistry?

If I get sedation dentistry, will I be loopy? I’m really afraid of the dentist and I heard sedation is a great solution. What I’m worried about is if it will make me loopy. I need to go back to work.

Julianne R. – Oregon


Depending on what type of sedation dentistry you use, then yes, it will make you “loopy”.  The exception is nitrous oxide, but that is not a strong form of sedation. It just relaxes you and helps the local anesthetic to work more effectively.

If you have any real dental anxiety, you’ll want something like oral conscious sedation. That will relax you so much that you likely won’t even remember the appointment. But, you’ll be so relaxed that you’ll need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.

You’ll find that it completely changes the way you view the dentist. You’ll have no more anxiety.

This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods Dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.

Novacain works until the dentist starts

The dentist gave me a shot of novacain. My dentist checked it and it was working. It really was. But, for some reaon, when my dentist started his work, I could feel the pain as what he was doing.  My dentist got frustrated with me and thought I was overreacting. Aside from being painful, it was humiliating to accused of being a drama queen. In front of the staff too. Do you know what happened? I’m really not a drama queen. I assure you.

DeAnna L. – Alabama


What you’re experiencing is quite common  and it frustrates me that your dentist tried to make you feel bad about something you have little control over.

I suspect you have some form of dental anxiety. When you are anxious, your metabolism increases. The increased metabolism causes the novacain to burn off more quickly. That is why you were feeling pain. There just wasn’t enough anesthetic in your system.

With enough dental anxiety to burn off your local anesthetic, then I woul suggest you try a deeper level of sedation dentistry–one that won’t burn off as a result of your fears.

I’d look into oral conscious sedation. This sedation is so strong,  that you will need  someone to drive you to and from the appointment.

You’ll find this will solve your dental issues. (Except for the problem of finding a more sensitive dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.

My dentist gives me nightmares

I have the nicest dentist in the world, but for some reason for the days before I have an appointment coming up, I get the most graphic nightmares about the appointment.  It makes going to the appointment a nightmare in itself. Is this common or am I a freak?

Leslie R. – Unity, WI


Having dental anxiety doesn’t make you a freak. In fact, it is fairly common. I’m guessing that you have some subconscious fear of dental work and that is playing itself out in your dreams.

I don’t know if you’ve had any difficult dental experiences, but there can be any number of reasons for dental anxiety.  I suggest you try sedation dentistry.  This will enable you to have a completly pain free dental experience.

It will also relieve any anxiety you may feel.  There are generally three levels of sedation and each dentist is different as to how many levels they perform. If you want, you could start at the lowest and see if that helps. If you’d rather, you could just go for the second level, oral conscious sedation, which will put you out, though you’ll still be conscious.

This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.

Sedation Dentistry

If you’re among the many Americans who are terrified of the dental chair, we want you to know there is a solution that could help you feel comfortable with dental treatment.

Some dentists practice what is known as sedation dentistry. Each sedation dentist varies in which services they offer. It could be as limited as just using nitrous oxide to relax you, or as deep as IV sedation.

Another popular option is oral conscious sedation.  With this you’ll take a pill shortly before your appointment. You’ll still have all your reflexes, but you will need someone to drive you too and from your appointment. Many patient’s are so relaxed they don’t even remember their appointment.

This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods Dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.

Can I get all this work done in just one appointment?

I’ve been putting off going to the dentist for many years, and just recently got dental coverage as part of my new job. Wow, am I going to pay a price for not keeping up on my dental care! I need six root canals, at least. I have three cavities that need to be drilled and filled, one tooth that needs to be ground down because it is messing up my bite, and all of my teeth need to be whitened, badly.

One of the reasons I put all this off for so long is that I hate going to the dentist. Is there any way all of this could be done in one appointment? I’d like to just get it over with! What is the limit for the number of hours treatment can take?

Stephanie in Baltimore, MD

Dear Stephanie,

You’ll really have to talk to your dentist about how much of the work they feel they can accomplish in one visit. The limiting factor will really be your tolerance for being in the chair that long, especially if you are an anxious dental patient. Most people who do not have dental anxiety can endure about four hours of treatment. If you are anxious at all, and I strongly advise you to be honest and up-front about that with your dentist right from the beginning, then your ability to tolerate treatment will be much less.

Something to consider is going to a sedation dentist, or asking your current dentist if he does sedation dentistry. You may have heard it referred to as “sleep dentistry“, which is a bit of a misleading term used by lay people. With sedation dentistry, you are not technically asleep, though you are in such a relaxed state that most patients report no memory of the treatment at all. If you are an anxious patient, this might be one way for you to get all that work done in a minimal number of visits.

Beyond your tolerance, the amount of time/number of appointments the treatments will take also depends on the locations of the teeth that need root canal treatment. If they are in the front of your mouth, they can likely be done in one appointment. If they are molars, you may want to consider going to an endodontist, which is a dentist who specializes in root canal treatments. For molars, it is important for you to get the treatments done in as few visits as possible, and with so many to do, you’ll need the speed and expertise of a specialist to get them all accomplished in a reasonable amount of time.

Best of luck to you. We’re glad you’re regaining your dental health!