How do you feel when you think of visiting a dentist? Would you instead suffer from toothache than get it extracted? Well, you are not alone. This is what dental anxiety feels like. Contrary to popular belief, dental anxiety is common in both adults and kids. While kids are forced to visit the dentist, most adults with this phobia postpone their oral checkups.
As mentioned previously, the solution to phobia is sedation dentistry. So, what is it? In this type of dentistry, medication is used to help you relax. Generally, you are awake during the checkup. However, you’ll not feel the effects of the dentist poking and prodding in your mouth. This is why sedation dentistry can be a pleasant experience for both the dentist and the patient.
Depending on the patient’s anxiety level and the complexity of the dental procedure, different types of sedation are used for treatment. Let’s have a quick look at the most common ones.
This is the most common type of sedation dentistry. The technician will rub a numbing gel or inject a local anesthetic in the area. It can be on your gum while a tooth extraction is done. Or it can be used so that you relax while the dentist performs an initial checkup.
Sometimes, patients may have injection phobia in addition to having dental anxiety. In these cases, an alternative method works better. The treatment using nitrous oxide is similar to breathing in oxygen through an oxygen mask. Once the nitrous oxide is inhaled, the patient will relax immediately. An advantage of this is that the gas leaves the human body reasonably quickly. So no extra medication is needed, and the patient will be healthy once the examination is complete.
A patient may be allergic or has asthma. Additionally, a patient may also be suffering from dental anxiety. This is where an oral sedative is useful. When a patient takes in a sedative or a pill through oral consumption, it helps in relaxing. The sedative is especially helpful for a person who has a low pain tolerance threshold and is easily spooked.
Most patients feel relaxed or drowsy after the sedation. This also means that after you are sedated, you may not remember the procedure or recall your dentist’s advice. This is why you should get the instructions written so that you can refer to them later on. You may also need a driver or an attendant to accompany you to and from the doctor’s office if you undergo oral sedation.
Another less conventional method of sedation is IV sedation. In this process, a sedative drug is induced in your vein. Since it is already induced in your bloodstream, it is more effective than other methods of sedation. Additionally, it also allows your dentist to adjust the level of drug flowing into your bloodstream smoothly.
No matter what type of sedation your dentist is using, you may also need local anesthesia to numb the affected part. This helps you to numb the pain when complex procedures like teeth extraction, root canal, or gum line lifting is being done.
There is no hard and fast rule as to who should be administered sedation and who shouldn’t. Generally, people with the following characteristics may find sedation dentistry effective
Sometimes, children who are afraid of dentists can also be administered sedation. For children, nitrous oxide is generally the safest method. Your dentist will check the weight and apply the gas depending on the level of anxiety.
There is always a risk associated with a therapeutic process. However, sedation dentistry has little to no side effects when administered properly. If you suffer from sleep apnea or obesity, then it is better to speak to your dentist. Additionally, if you have heart ailments or respiratory problems, you should talk to your dentist about practical techniques of sedation.
We, at Weymouth Dental Associates, can help you with overcoming your dental anxiety. Our dentist and technicians use the most advanced method to determine the best process for you. Do you have questions regarding sedation dentistry? Visit us today for a consultation.