I’m terrified of the dentist but have a pretty severe toothache. I know I need to go to an emergency dentist, but the idea is making me shake. Would it be safe to self-medicate with Xanax before I go in? I think it would help me get through the procedure and I’m not sure I’ll be able to stay in “the chair” without it.
Please don’t feel like you’re alone in this situation. You should know many other people feel the same agony when going to the dentist. I don’t want to recommend self-medicating with Xanax ahead of your appointment. There’s a very good reason for this. You don’t know what type of medicine the emergency dentist is going to need to use when you are undergoing treatment and we don’t want to limit his options because of the contraindication possibilities. I do have a solution for you, though. One which could help you permanently and not just for emergencies.
I’d like you to look for a dentist who also offers dental sedation. This will completely relax you without your dentist having to worry about interactions. That’s because he’s already tailored the medicines he uses for sedation to his practice. This is different from sedation for a surgical procedure. You’re completely relaxed and pain-free, but you are still able to communicate and stay awake if you want. Though, as the picture above shows, many patients just prefer to sleep through the procedure.
The Importance of Not Putting off Emergency Dental Care
A painful tooth is considered a dental emergency. It generally means there is an infection brewing in your tooth. Without treatment, this will continue to spread and can become life-threatening. I know it seems hard to believe, but people still die from tooth infections in the 21st century.
This happens for two reasons. First, they don’t realize the seriousness and think they have time to deal with it. If you think about how close your heart and brain are to your jaw along with how quickly an infection can blow up and spread, you’ll see why this can be so dangerous. The second reason is they’re under the mistaken impression that just taking some antibiotics is enough to take care of it.
Dental infections are different because it kills the pulp of the tooth. Once the pulp is dead there is no longer any blood flow. The antibiotics never reach the infection. So, while you might feel better for a short period of time while the part of the infection which has spread outside of the tooth is held at bay, it will blow up even stronger than before.
It’s always better to catch these early when there is a chance of saving your tooth. Otherwise, you’ll be looking at paying for an extraction and tooth replacement such as a dental implant.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Dentist Dr. Fred Arnold.