Dental anxiety is a very common issue that many patients experience. In fact, studies show that up to 20% of people avoid going to the dentist altogether because of dental anxiety. This can result in neglected oral health and the need for more extensive dental procedures in the future.
Dental anxiety can cause patients to avoid the dentist altogether, which can lead to significant oral health problems. Fortunately, sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way to help minimize dental anxiety.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
One of the most common forms of sedation dentistry is oral sedation. This involves taking a pill before your appointment that will help you feel relaxed and calm. The medication will not put you to sleep. However, it will make you feel drowsy and less aware of your surroundings. This can be helpful for patients who experience mild to moderate dental anxiety.
Another form of sedation dentistry is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. This is a colorless, odorless gas that is inhaled through a mask. The gas will help you feel relaxed and calm. Additionally, the effects will wear off quickly once your dental team removes the mask. Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective form of sedation that is for patients of all ages.
For patients who experience severe dental anxiety, intravenous (IV) sedation may be recommended. This involves your dentist administering medication directly into your bloodstream through an IV. IV sedation will make you feel very drowsy and relaxed, and you may not remember the procedure at all. This form of sedation dentistry is typically reserved for patients who need extensive dental work or who have a strong fear of the dentist.
What are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?
One of the primary benefits of sedation dentistry is that it can help patients who experience dental anxiety feel more comfortable during their appointments. Patients who are anxious about dental procedures may avoid going to the dentist altogether.
Unfortunately, this can lead to untreated dental problems and more extensive procedures in the future. By using sedation, patients can receive the dental care they need without experiencing the same level of anxiety.
Sedation dentistry can also be beneficial for patients who have a strong gag reflex, difficulty sitting still for long periods of time, or sensitive teeth. These patients may find it difficult to tolerate dental procedures without sedation and may experience pain or discomfort during the procedure.
Another benefit of sedation dentistry is that it can help patients save time. Patients who require multiple dental procedures can have them performed during one appointment while under sedation. This can help reduce the number of appointments required and minimize the amount of time patients need to take off work or school.