Going to the dentist is something that most people just readily accepted as a fact of life. However, not all people feel the same way. There are people who experience dental anxiety where the mere thought of going to the dentist sends a chill down their spine. While being scared of the dentist isn’t something to worry about, they could affect your dental hygiene if you refuse to go to a dental house or clinic. Luckily, there’s a solution for it called sedation dentistry. This is when dentists use certain types of medication to help their patients keep calm during any procedure.
What is Severe Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety is fear of dentists that can result in full-blown panic attacks and major spells of worry. Some people experience dental anxiety so bad that they’d rather live with whatever dental health issues they have instead of going for a regular checkup with a dentist.
Sedation and Anxiety
For those who experience anxiety when thinking about dental procedures, dental sedation is an effective way of fighting off that fear. This is due to the fact that sedatives can include anti-anxiety medications, tranquilizers, nitrous oxide, and depressants, all administered in a variety of ways by an experienced professional to combat common phobia. There are actually a couple of types of dental sedation used by dentists, such as:
- Oral Sedatives: This is the most common technique used in the US and Canada. Oral sedatives are just medication like diazepam that is given to the patient about one hour before the start of a dental appointment. Generally, patients who take oral sedatives are awake for the appointment duration but feel considerably more relaxed and less anxious than they would have without the sedatives.
- Intravenous Sedatives: This type of sedative is administered via an IV or intravenous injection directly into the bloodstream. Patients under this type of sedation are put into a deep state of relaxation. This allows you to rest until the procedure is completed. Some specialists call this state “twilight sleep,” where you are conscious but in a constant state of sleepiness where you remember very little of the procedure.
- Nitrous Oxide: Instead of being injected or taken orally, nitrous oxide is inhaled in gas form to help you relax during your appointment. This wears off quite quickly, allowing you to drive yourself home after the appointment.
Is Sedation Safe?
Like any other form of medication, sedation also has its risk, but it’s the same as the risks associated with anesthesia. If you suffer from sleep apnea or obesity, it’s better to consult with your doctor first, as there may be some complications with the use of sedation. As a safety precaution, your dentist will go over your history prior to the procedure and ask if you’re on any medication.
People who undergo sedation are those who experience anxiety in the presence of dentists, those with low pain thresholds, or a bad gag reflex. Children who refuse to cooperate during the visit or are quite fearful of the dentists may also receive sedation.
If the thought of going to the dentist makes your blood run cold, dental sedation may be the solution you’re looking for. Sedation helps you to receive the care and attention your teeth need while keeping your nerves and anxiety in check.
Dental House in Ann Arbor makes it its mission to make you feel as comfortable as possible every time you visit the dentist. We offer preventive dentistry, oral surgery, dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, and other affordable dentistry services for our clients in Waterford and Ann Arbor, MI. Expect a personable and welcoming environment whenever you visit Dental House. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!