Approximately 30 to 40 million Americans experience dental anxiety or phobia that keeps them from getting the dental treatment they need to maintain healthy teeth and gums. It’s not just major procedures like root canal treatments or extractions that patients fear; some experience fear of going to the dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings, too. Are you one of the millions who fears the dentist? Ease dental anxiety with sedation dentistry: This form of dentistry utilizes sedation techniques to ease patients and help them relax so they can undergo treatment.
Who Benefits from Sedation Dentistry?
How do you feel when you have an upcoming appointment with your dentist? If you feel anxious at the thought of an appointment or, even more severe, you feel crippling fear at the thought of visiting the dentist, then you are a good candidate for sedation dentistry. Any patient who experiences dental anxiety and fear that interferes with their lives and oral health should consider the benefits of sedation dentistry.
Sedation Dentistry Options
Nitrous oxide: Nitrous oxide is often known as “laughing gas,” because it eases tensions, anxiety, and discomfort so you feel relaxed and unafraid for your dental appointment. The gas is administered with a face mask. The gas wears off immediately after treatment, so you will feel like yourself again immediately and can drive yourself home.
Oral sedation: With this moderate form of dental sedation, your dentist or oral surgeon will give you a calming pill to help you relax. This method is recommended if you have a friend or loved one available to drive you home after your appointment, as you may feel sleepy until the medication has worn off.
Combination: Some patients require a combination of both nitrous oxide gas and oral sedation medication for optimal dental anxiety relief and relaxation.
IV sedation: IV treatment is for patients with a severe phobia. As the sedative wears off, you may not remember the experience or may remember very little of your treatment.