There are many people who are afraid of going to the dentist. Avoiding fears is acceptable in some instances, but not in this case. Staying away from your dentist can decrease your quality of life, or, in extreme cases, decrease your overall health.
Every year, millions of people purposefully avoid their dentists. They may have had bad experiences in either childhood or adulthood. To head off the chances of decay and dental pain, it’s important to visit your dentist.
Sedation dentistry can help you to overcome any anxiety you have about going to the dentist. It is used most often for extensive or lengthy procedures, for patients who have difficulty in sitting still and for patients who have dental phobia. Some sedation methods are general anesthetics, oral sedatives, IV sedation and nitrous oxide.
Sedation is sometimes used to calm patients, or even to put them to sleep. Often, there will be a pill to take and then medications used before or during the procedure. If you have a strong gag reflex, physical handicap, major dental treatment or a low tolerance for pain, sedation will make the appointment much easier for you. Lengthy procedures like periodontal treatments, cosmetic procedures, extractions, root canals, bridges, crowns or fillings may require some type of sedation.
Sedation Is Safe
The American Dental Association endorses sedation as an effective way for patients to remain comfortable during dental visits. Your dentist will explain the sedation process and inform you about instructions for before and after a treatment done with sedation.
Nitrous oxide is sometimes called “laughing gas”. It may be used during dental visits. This gas is administered with an oxygen mixture, and is quite calming. It helps you relax even if you are anxious or phobic about dental visits. Since this sedative is mild, you will still be conscious, and you can speak to your dentist while you are in the chair.
After your treatment, nitrous oxide is disconnected and you will receive oxygen only for 5 to 10 minutes, flushing out any gas that remains. The effects will wear off very quickly. There rarely are side effects with nitrous oxide, although you may experience minor constipation or nausea.
Oral Conscious Sedation
This type of calming effect, used by some sedation dentists, slightly depresses your consciousness level. It will reduce your discomfort, fear and anxiety, while allowing you to keep your airway open and respond to instructions from your dentist.
Oral conscious sedation is safer than conventional anesthesia, and it has fewer side effects. It will not leave you unable to speak, and it works if you are mild or moderately anxious about dental procedures. It is more cost-effective than IV sedation and you can breathe on your own. You may have limited memories of your procedure and you can get more dental work completed in each visit, in most cases.