Sedation dentistry and the various options available to help you keep you calm during your next dental visit.
Dental anxiety and dental phobia are a real problem for millions of patients worldwide. It can arise from a fear of needles, drills, pain, severe gag refluxes, etc. and can prevent a patient from visiting a dentist even if they are suffering.
Many dentists now often a variety of treatments and methods to help their patients experience virtually painless dentistry. This can range from using gas to anaesthetic, all of which will help the patient calm down and remain relaxed during their procedure.
Sedation dentistry employs mild sedation techniques to relax nervous patients before a procedure. If you experience panic, stress, and anxiety about going to the dentist, then speak to Dr Erik about undergoing sedation dentistry to help make your dental appointment and procedure more manageable and comfortable.
Sedation Dentistry Options
There a various methods and degrees of sedation available:
- Gas: This method is used on patients who experience mild forms of distress during a dental procedure. Most often, the dentist administers happy (or laughing) gas to the patient, to keep them awake and aware but much more relaxed. The effects of the gas wear off quickly and you will be on your way home as normal, in no time.
- Oral: Patients can also be prescribed anti-anxiety medications which they should take at least an hour before the procedure to ensure they are calm during the appointment. You will need to speak to your doctor and explain your situation for oral medications to be prescribed.
- IV: With moderate forms of sedation, you will remain awake (most of the time) but not completely aware. In most cases, the sedation is administered via an IV drip (by a trained anaesthetist) which means you may fall into a light sleep during the procedure. This form of sedation is not offered at all dental practices and is not suitable for all patients, especially those with any medical conditions.
- General Anaesthetic: Used on patients who suffer from severe dental anxiety, this form of sedation makes the patient completely unconscious during the procedure. General anaesthesia is used in these cases and has to be administered by an anaesthetist at hospital. Whilst you remain completely unconscious and unaware during the procedure, you will need more time to recover and will be unable to drive yourself home afterwards.
These forms of sedation are often paired with a topical anaesthetic which is used to numb the area where the dentist will be working. The topical anaesthetic can also be administered via a dental wand instead of a normal injection, making any dental procedure as painless as possible.
The option you choose depends entirely on you and what your body can handle. Some patients may be unable to take oral medications or general anaesthetic due to a pre-existing medical condition however, this will need to be discussed with your dentist and doctor to find the treatment that best suits you.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Yes, it is! Sedation dentistry has been practiced for many years and with recent advancements in the dental field, there are more options available which are able to suit almost anyone.
In fact, sedation dentistry is now even being used for simple procedures such as regular dental cleanings for patients who are extremely nervous and jumpy. Sedation dentistry is safe enough to be offered to children, teenagers, and even senior citizens. It is especially helpful for kids who are afraid of the dentist and tend to flinch and move around a lot.
Fear of the dentist or any dental setting can prevent you from visiting your dentist for years, which could lead to several dental health problems. Sedation dentistry helps provide patients with an almost painless visit making them feel comfortable and relaxed throughout their appointment and procedure.
Speak to your Aperture Dental dentist about the sedation dentistry options available at our office and your suitability.