Statistics show that over 30 million Americans avoid visiting a dentist for any type of care because of anxiety or phobia. That means they are missing out on the preventive benefits and cost savings that come along with these appointments. Thankfully, with the help of sedation dentistry, patients are now able to overcome their apprehensions so they can experience the best in oral health. Read on to learn about two available options!
What is Sedation Dentistry?
For patients who experience either anxiety or phobia, sedation dentistry helps to calm their nerves so they can receive the vital care they need to either prevent or treat oral health issues. The following are some other challenges that sedation dentistry can be used to bypass:
- A low pain threshold
- An overactive gag reflex
- Sensitive teeth or gums
- Resistance to numbing medications
- Unpleasant memories of past procedures
- Negative reactions to the sound of dental equipment
The type of sedation dentistry administered will depend on the acuteness of your discomfort and the complexity of the care you need.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Administered by a trained and experienced dentist, sedation dentistry is just as safe as it is effective. One reason is that you’ll be continuously monitored by medical equipment throughout the process. Thus, your dentist can safely make any adjustments necessary.
The Purpose of Nitrous Oxide
For milder cases of anxiety, your dentist may utilize Nitrous Oxide/Oxygen Conscious Sedation (also referred to as laughing gas). The most common form of sedation, it is administered by way of a mask that covers your nose throughout the treatment process.
By reducing your sensitivity to pain and lightening your mood, Nitrous Oxide allows for a comfortable and relaxed experience. Patients also benefit from the fact that the effects wear off soon after the medication is discontinued, which means they can return to their normal routines.
Oral Sedation for Acute Anxiety
If the thought of visiting the dentist causes a more debilitating form of nervousness or fear, then oral sedation provides a solution. Your dentist will provide you with two small pills that are to be taken before your appointment.
By the time you arrive at your dentist’s office, you’ll feel relaxed and prepared to receive care. Along with calming any fears, this form of sedation also provides an excellent way to more comfortably undergo multiple treatment options in one visit.
It’s important to have someone accompany and drive you home after the procedure has concluded. That’s because the medication can take several hours to fully wear off after being discontinued. Thus, you’ll also need to clear your schedule for the rest of the day to allow yourself time to rest.
With the expert care of your dentist and the usage of sedation dentistry, you can finally receive the dental care you’ve been missing, which will allow you to enjoy the absolute best in oral health.
About the Author
Dr. Terry Rigdon is a highly respected and proficient dentist who has treated patients from as far away as the Ukraine. Throughout his over 40-year career, he has remained an avid learner, which is why he has received advanced postgraduate education from the prestigious Misch Institute and the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. Dr. Rigdon also uses his 16 years of experience with administering sedation dentistry to help patients experience stress-free dental care at Rigdon Dental and Associates. He can be reached for more information through his website.