I’m not trying to be insensitive, but every time my wife needs anything at the dentist, even a simple filling she won’t go in without dental sedation. That requires me to take time off work AND we have to pay for it out of pocket because insurance won’t cover it. I know her childhood dentist was pretty rough, but now that she’s had positive experiences, shouldn’t she be ready to transition to regular dental care?
It sounds like your wife has been through a lot. I know it’s a hardship for you to take time off work too, so I’m not ignoring the sacrifices you’re giving. But there’s no definitive time in which trauma takes a backseat.
While some patients can ease into dental care without sedation in just a few appointments with good experiences, others may take a lifetime. It all depends on the severity of the trauma in their mind and what the triggers are.
For her, it may be the dental chair itself. Without the sedation, she may end up hyperventilating. Many dentists have had patients panic in the dental chair.
Sedation Dentistry is Probably Saving You Money
You mentioned your wife won’t go without dental sedation. That would mean a definite decline of her oral health. We’ve seen this before with patients who suffer from severe dental anxiety. The only thing which brings them in is a dental emergency. They tend to wait until the pain is so unbearable they have no choice.
By then, there is usually no way to save their tooth. Now instead of paying for dental sedation, they’re paying for a tooth extraction and the expense of surgery replacing the missing teeth with dental implants.
Regular, preventative care, is always more cost-effective than putting off care.
I realize it is an inconvenience for you to take off work every time. Is there a way a family member or friend can share the burden? I’m sure they’d be compassionate and understanding given her childhood history. Truthfully, most dental anxieties start in childhood.
I don’t know if you guys are parents yet, but that fact alone should tell you how important it is to choose a pediatric dentist carefully.
Give your wife some time. Let her tell you when she’s ready to try it without dental sedation. If, however, you find her anxiety starts bleeding into other aspects of her life, it might be time to get to the source of things with a therapist. But, believe me, that will cost a lot more than dental sedation.
This blog is brought to you by Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Bonnie Rothwell.