There are thousands of people that are so nervous about visiting the dentist, they have gone decades without even having their teeth cleaned. With today’s modern dentistry, there is a solution for this; patients who are extremely nervous about seeing their dentist can choose sedation dentistry.
Sedation dentistry is used for reasons other than anxiety; patients that have difficulty sitting for long periods of time can relax while having their dental work completed. Individuals suffering from physical or mental limitations may also benefit from sedation dentistry.
The patient can choose from different options; if you are seeing a periodontist for gum disease treatment, nitrous oxide may be sufficient for your comfort. With this type of sedation, the patient is allowed to relax into a state of mild euphoria. When work is completed, the nitrous is turned off and pure oxygen returns the patient to normal levels of consciousness.
For a more nervous patient or if extensive dental work is required, conscious sedation is available. This type of relaxation is taken orally; but since the patient will likely feel a little groggy upon treatment completion, transportation to and from this appointment is required.
The patient will take a sedative about one hour before their scheduled appointment. Upon arrival, the patient is administered an additional sedative. It is important to note that the safety and comfort of the patient is paramount so monitors are put in place; the patient is under constant observation before, during, and after treatment. Upon procedure completion, the patient is released to go home after the dental provider is satisfied they are alert enough to do so.
With conscious sedation, many patients feel as though they slept during treatment; however, they remain awake. This form of sedation allows nervous patients and those with limitations to receive much needed dentistry that may have been avoided in the past.
Additional training is required for your dental provider to offer conscious sedation; the office must be properly equipped and the staff must be trained to guarantee the safety of the patient. Nitrous oxide sedation is available in many dental offices.
Dental anxiety is real for many patients; and dental health is important to maintain good overall health. If fear has prevented you from seeking proper dental care, ask your dentist or periodontist about sedation availability. You deserve healthy teeth and gums.