Take a Chill Pill

Dr. William J. Schlotz Dentist Saint Louis, MO

Dr. William Schlotz is a Dentist practicing in Saint Louis, MO. Dr. Schlotz specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases and conditions associated with the mouth and overall dental health. Dentists are trained to carry out such treatment as professional cleaning, restorative, prosthodontic, and endodontic... more

Oral sedation helping to make the bad dental memories and phobia fade


Remember that popular 70’s phrase? It offered quick, easy & free psychotherapeutics to those perceived ‘uptight’. To digress for a quick second, why is it that more “stuff ” came out of the 70’s? Examples abound even beyond phraseology. Think style (tie dyes, bell bottoms, wide ties & hair). Think anti-establishment (counter-culturists & recreational habits). Think revolutions (anti-war & prosex).  Likely (due to the aforementioned ‘habits’), the 70’s was our most creative decade, for better or worse.

OK (you’re saying) the dental connection please:

  •    First, the answer (respecting 70’s visionary “The Great Carnac”), is oral sedation dentistry
  •    Second, the question … Who’s not ‘uptight’ when faced with the prospect of significant dental treatment?

Discomfort associated with today’s state-of-the-art dentistry is vastly different than a even a few decades ago.  However, try telling that to the multitude of adults who develop sweaty palms just thinking about a visit to the dentist. The fear is real and it has no boundaries. It can affect all types of people.  There is no age, sex, economic or race discrimination guidelines. Research shows that almost 30% of our population avoids going to the dentist due to fear. DOCS’ (DDS Organization for Conscious Sedation) estimate is closer to 50%. 

I attended a DOCS conference recently in Boston, MA. The attendees’ fear of dental treatment was quantified by hidden ballot.  Of these dental professionals surveyed, 40% were either moderately or severely anxious of the thought of having dental work done on them.

A huge segment of our population has intense, realistic, palm-sweating, sick-to-the-stomach, eye-popping and sleep-depriving fear. Avoidance of dental treatment is the response for the majority of them. Perversely, those who most desperately need early intervention and simple treatment are the ones who just say no to oral care.

Enter sedation dentistry, and with it this virtually rhetorical question. “If there was a way, with sedation, that a dental patient could have their treatment accomplished in minimal visits (as little as 2 or 3), with complete confidence of comfort and little memory of the experience, would this be more encouraging?”  Add in an exemplary safety record and it’s no wonder today’s oral sedation is helping make the bad dental memories and phobia fade like a really cool pair of jeans.