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Research has found that 30 to 50 per cent of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to fear, with some living with pain for years before venturing to the dental office.
This can have a serious impact on people's oral health, so dentists are now trying to find ways to make visiting the dentist a less frightening experience for nervous patients.
At Stanley Dentistry in Cary, North Carolina, they are using the technique of conscious sedation to deal with this problem, dBusinessNews reports.
Drs Robert and Bobbi Stanley, who run the clinic, both attended training courses at the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation in Washington DC and have been advocates of the idea ever since.
Using benzodiazepine drugs, qualified dentists are able to sedate their patients in a way that allows them to experience the treatment, while having little or no memory of it the next day.
Dr. Robert Stanley told the news provider: "Conscious sedation dentistry allows us to give needed dental care to fearful patients in a comfortable manner."
Most patients undergoing conscious sedation will be treated in one of three ways - through intravenous sedation with midazolam, inhalation sedation with nitrous oxide and oxygen, or oral sedation with benzodiazepines.
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