It’s not uncommon for patients to fear dental appointments, but it shouldn’t keep you from seeking the help and treatment you need. If you experience anxiety before you see your dentist, don’t be afraid to confide in them. Sedation dentistry has become widely used across the industry to help patients who suffer from the same problem – they fear the dentist. Sedatives are used to calm your nerves and relax you throughout your appointment, allowing your dentist to complete necessary treatments to optimize your oral health. However, many patients are unaware of the options that are available, so we’re here to answer 2 essential questions about sedation dentistry.
1.How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?
Every patient is unique – anxiety and fear can manifest in different ways with a range of severity. Depending on your situation, your dentist may recommend several different options to help you relax in their chair. For mild conditions, “laughing gas” (nitrous oxide) is typically the preferred method of sedation. It allows the patient to relax while your dentist controls it during your appointment, but it wears off quicker making it easier to “wake up.” For more moderate situations, you could benefit from taking an oral medication before your appointment that can help take the edge off (and sometimes let you sleep) while you’re in the dental chair. However, in severe cases (and for procedures like oral surgery), general anesthesia (or deep sedation) is used to put the patient in an unconscious state. Afterwards, it’s likely that you won’t remember a thing from the procedure and you’ll probably be groggy.
2.Will I Be Conscious?
Sedation is used to induce an altered state of consciousness, just in different levels. For example, when using nitrous oxide gas, you’ll remain conscious and responsive while you’re extremely relaxed. However, as you use stronger sedation, you’ll become less conscious. With moderate anxiety, patients typically benefit from a stronger sedation that will let them “sleep” through the procedure.
Are you suffering from anxiety or fear surrounding your dentist? Don’t delay – sedation dentistry has been used for years and is proven to be safe and effective.