Who Needs Sedation Dentistry and Why?
Sedation dentistry can help put your anxiety at ease.
Have you ever skipped a dental appointment or avoided treatment because of anxiety or fear? Dental anxiety is a problem for a surprisingly large percentage of adults. It can leave some feeling shaky and uncomfortable during routine checkups or cause others to avoid seeing a dentist for years. What many anxiety sufferers don’t know is that their dentist may have a solution for their nerves in the form of sedation dentistry.
So what is sedation dentistry? Are you a good candidate for this type of dentistry? Let’s find out.
Dental anxiety is a recognized problem taken seriously by great dentists.
Before diving into what exactly sedation dentistry is and how it can be used, it’s important to know that your dental anxiety is a valid and recognized obstacle.
Great dentists understand that a patient with dental anxiety has a legitimate fear or anxiety response. They will respond with compassion, a gentle touch, and an eagerness to understand what does or doesn’t make you anxious. Choosing a dentist that makes you feel comfortable and takes your dental anxiety seriously is a must for anyone who experiences fear, nervousness, or uneasiness at dental appointments.
With a caring dentist and dental team by your side, you can move forward with discovering if sedation dentistry is something that will work for you.
Sedation dentistry is an elective service with versatile uses.
Sedation dentistry is surprisingly versatile in how it can be used. When many people think of sedation, they often think of general anesthesia and being fully unconscious for a major surgical procedure. Sedation dentistry is certainly used for invasive oral surgery procedures, but its capabilities extend beyond this one purpose.
As an elective service, sedation dentistry can be requested by a patient who experiences dental anxiety. If you know you have a difficult time relaxing during appointments or an upcoming treatment procedure is leaving you feeling panicked, you can opt for sedation to help keep you relaxed and safe.
The reason sedation dentistry is so easily available to most dental anxiety patients is that it comes in a variety of levels. In many cases, a mild amount of sedation is all you might need to feel less anxious.
There are different levels and intensities of dental sedation available.
There are different levels of dental sedation available, from minimal to general anesthesia. Minimal and moderate sedation is generally used for patients with anxiety.
Minimal sedation leaves you fully awake and aware, but with enough sedation to take the edge off your anxiety. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the best-known form of minimal sedation. It leaves patients feeling relaxed with some feelings of happiness or even a little sleepiness. The great thing about nitrous oxide is that it’s inhaled and as soon as the gas is turned off, you return to feeling normal. You can even drive home after your appointment.
Moderate sedation is another form of conscious sedation that’s a bit stronger than minimal. It may leave you feeling sleepy and you might slur your words. It will usually come in the form of an oral medication that’s taken before the appointment. Oral sedation doesn’t often wear off quickly, so patients will need someone to drive them home.
Patients with extreme dental anxiety that physically prevents them from safe dental care can benefit from deep sedation or full general anesthesia. This is more likely to be done in hospital with IV sedation.
Sedation dentistry can be used therapeutically to help overcome dental anxiety.
Sedation dentistry isn’t just a magic pill for dental anxiety—when used therapeutically to overcome dental anxiety, patients can see results much more quickly. If you find that your dental anxiety is quite severe, reaching out to a therapist can also be very helpful in gaining control of your anxiety or fear.
A wonderful thing about dental sedation is that it allows you to have some control over your reactions, meaning you can physically relax enough that you can begin to mentally work through your worries. Over time, and with a great dentist, many patients discover that their dental anxiety diminishes. Although your anxiety may never fully vanish, it’s very possible to get to the point that you only need minimal sedation for treatment appointments.
Learn more about sedation dentistry with Dr. Sexton.
If you’re curious about sedation dentistry, the best source of information is speaking with Dr. Sexton about your options. While sedation dentistry is very safe, particularly mild nitrous oxide, it’s still important for your health to be evaluated beforehand. Dr. Sexton will discuss what sedation options are available for your unique needs and together you can come up with a plan to help ease your anxiety. If you have questions about sedation dentistry or you’re interested in scheduling a visit, give our office a call or use this online form.