If you worry about visiting the dentist, you’re not alone. Some studies show that up to 60% of people have anxiety about going to the dentist, and about 5-10% of people have “dental phobia,” an actual disorder characterized by intense fear and avoidance of the dentist. Certainly for many of us, visiting the dentist can cause some anxiety. That’s why we offer sedation dentistry.
Sedation dentistry uses medication to soothe and relax dental patients during everything from teeth cleaning to more serious treatments. It’s usually not conducted under anesthesia, which means you’re definitely awake, but you’re mildly or moderately sedated and may not remember very much of the procedure. There are a few types of sedation used:
- Inhaled sedation. Commonly known as “laughing” gas, you breathe nitrous oxide combined with oxygen through a mask over your nose. The gas helps you relax and wears off quickly after your procedure.
- IV sedation is a drug given through a vein.
- Oral sedation is usually taken as a pill. The dosage may vary, but it’s usually taken a little bit before the procedure. It will make you drowsy and moderately sedated.
- Finally, general anesthesia, which makes you unconscious, can be used for dental surgery or other more serious treatments.
You may want to consider visiting us for sedation dentistry if you experience any of the following:
- anxiety about going to the dentist
- have sensitive teeth
- have a bad gag reflex
- have a significant amount of dental work to be completed
Often, children benefit from inhaled sedation, especially if they have their own fears about going to the dentist.
It’s important you know that going to the dentist doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. With sedation dentistry, we can help ensure your visit is a soothing and calm experience. We’ll talk with you beforehand about your medical history before determining if sedation dentistry is right for you. And we’ll monitor your vitals according to the guidelines recommended by the American Dental Association. This is a safe, approved, and increasingly popular method for managing your anxiety about going to the dentist, if you have some. And we all have a little.