Have you been avoiding your local dentist out of fear? If so, you are not alone. Approximately 75% of people in the U.S. suffer from some level of anxiety from the dentist, and between five and 10% have a severe dental phobia. Avoiding regular dental visits can lead to serious dental issues, but luckily there is a solution. Sedation dentistry allows patients who fear the dentist to receive necessary dental care while feeling relaxed and fearless.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
While it used to be used solely for painful dental procedures, sedation dentistry is now used to relax patients who are either afraid of the dentist or suffer from anxiety during dental visits. Through the use of sedative medications, dentists can help fearful patients get through the necessary procedures to ensure their teeth remain healthy and clean.
Many people avoid regular checkups or delay seeking care for dental problems because they have such an intense fear of going to the dentist office. With sedation dentistry, these patients can receive the treatment they need in a calm and relaxed setting. Depending on the level of sedation patients have, they may not even remember their dental visit. Sedative medications can be administered in a few different ways.
What are the Different Types of Sedation Available?
- Inhalation Sedation Dentistry – Inhalation sedation involves the use of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to relax patients. With this type of sedation, patients are still awake throughout the procedure but aren’t likely to remember it.
- Oral Sedation Dentistry – Oral medications are currently the most popular type of sedation at the dentist. These medications are either given to a patient the night before or an hour before their procedure. They do not provide pain relief, so a local anesthetic at the site of the procedure is needed as well. Patients remain conscious with oral sedation medications.
- IV Sedation Dentistry – Sedative medications are injected directly into a patient’s bloodstream with IV sedation dentistry. This technique puts the patient into a deep state of relaxation and is usually only used for those with a more intense fear of dental procedures. Dentists are able to increase the level of sedation in patients using IV sedatives, making it a more controlled method of sedation.
Being afraid of the dentist doesn’t have to hold you back from receiving dental treatment. Sedation dentistry can help fearful patients get through anxiety-inducing procedures in a safe setting. Find more on this here.