Whether you are there for an annual cleaning or a root canal, you may find yourself full of anxiety every time you walk into a dentist's waiting room. If you are one of the 30 to 40 million individuals who suffer from dental anxiety, there is an answer for you: dental sedation. Sedation dentistry, also…
How to Tell if Sedation Dentistry is Right for You
Modern dental technology has made sedation dentistry possible. For the millions of people with dental anxiety, this provides welcome relief and removes any discomfort associated with having dental work done. Most patients find that dental procedures do not cause pain, so sedation is used mostly to calm their nerves.
You may be a good candidate for this type of dentistry if you have:
Complex dental issues
Fear of needles
Past traumatic dental experiences
Difficulty becoming numb
Hard time holding still
Most sedation dentistry is used on adults over the age of eighteen. This may be required to help little patients to hold still during a dental treatment. Regardless of age, this is recommended for people that are otherwise in good health. If you have existing medical conditions, tell your dentist so that those conditions can be taken into consideration when determining the level of sedation to use.
The level of sedation that a dentist will use depends on the type of procedure being performed, the age and health of the patient, and the patient's wishes. There is everything from light sedation which simply relaxes a patient to general anesthesia where the patient is completely unconscious. During your consultation, the dentist will go over all of these options to determine which one is right for you.
Various methods are used to accomplish sedation. This includes:
Oral sedatives. This is extremely common and serves to relax patients. The pill can be taken the night before or thirty minutes to an hour before having dental work done. This is for relaxation but does not help with pain relief so local anesthesia will also be given at the site of the procedure in order to numb the area.
IV sedation. This is less common as an anesthesiologist needs to be involved. IV sedation is also used for relaxation in combination with local anesthesia for pain.
Nitrous Oxide. More commonly known as laughing gas, this is an easy and common way to help patients relax. Simply inhale the gas to calm down and enjoy the procedure. Local anesthesia will also be used to help with pain.
General anesthesia. This will completely put a patient to sleep. You will not feel any pain or be aware of what is happening during the procedure. It is most often used for oral surgery or major dental procedures for people with severe anxiety.
All of these types of sedation dentistry are extremely effective at helping patients to feel better and to feel relaxed during dental procedures. They take away the fear and anxiety associated with having dental work done which makes it possible for people to receive the treatments they need, instead of putting them off. Dental anxiety can be a terrible thing because of its ability to make the situation worst. The fear of visiting the dentist is far greater than any pain or discomfort that would be felt. Unfortunately, not treating oral health issues makes them more painful. If you have dental anxiety, don't delay. Schedule an appointment to learn more about sedation dentistry and how it can help you.
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