Going to the dentist can be scary for many reasons. Children and adults alike all have problems getting into a dental chair. If it is hard for you to make dental appointments, know that you are not alone. Dental anxiety is common among patients. Luckily, you have options that can help your dental appointments run more smoothly.
Receiving sedation before or during your appointments can put your mind at ease. While there are other ways to address your anxiety, sedation is a safe and quick way to reduce your fears about the dentist. Sedation does ease your anxiety, but it also has many other benefits.
Types of Sedation
There are several types of sedation. You and your dentist can discuss which option is best for you. Your procedure may determine the type of sedation you receive.
Oral Conscious Sedation
If you elect to get oral conscious sedation, you will likely take a pill before arriving at your dentist’s office. A sedative will require someone to take you to and from your appointment. This is because oral conscious sedation makes you groggy or even sleepy. The effects will wear off after a few hours.
You may be familiar with nitrous oxide by the name “laughing gas.” Your dentist will give you nitrous oxide in the office through a nosepiece or a mask. The effects of nitrous oxide will hit you quickly, and you should experience a calming effect. Luckily, nitrous oxide wears off rapidly, so you can drive yourself home.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
IV sedation is generally for patients who have extreme anxiety or will undergo longer, more complicated procedures. Unlike other forms of sedation, you are more likely to fall asleep under IV sedation. Your dentist and their team will control the level of sedation to put you to sleep or wake you. It is unlikely that you will remember any part of your procedure.
Sedation dentistry is excellent for patients that experience anxiety about visiting the dentist. However, sedation can help patients for other purposes.
Some patients have a strong gag reflex, making it difficult and uncomfortable to undergo even simple procedures. Fortunately, using sedation can reduce your gag reflex. You are less likely to gag while your dentist is working by putting you in a relaxed state. Additionally, sedation slows your brain’s reflexive responses, preventing you from gagging.
You should consider using sedation for your dental appointments if you have highly sensitive teeth. Even if going to the dentist doesn’t alarm you, your teeth can keep you from making it to the chair. In addition, sedation can keep you calm and pain-free during your dental procedures.
Using sedation will allow your dentist to perform more complex procedures without causing you pain. If you are relaxed or even asleep, your dentist can move through your procedures quickly and easily. Also, sedation keeps you from moving while your dentist uses their tools. It keeps you from getting hurt or remembering any pain. It can make your life and your dentist’s life easier.