Not everyone enjoys going to the dentist. In fact, according to Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center, 30 to 40 million Americans avoid trips to the dental office due to fear. Since we know that professional dental care is a non-negotiable component of a healthy mouth and healthy body, patients with dental fear or dental anxiety must find a solution. For the majority of these patients, sedation dentistry is the answer.
Unfortunately, there are many people who do not know about sedation dentistry or do not have a full understanding about what it entails. To help you determine if would benefit from sedation dentistry, here are some FAQ’s from Grateful Dental:
How Do I Know If I Have Dental Anxiety?
There is no clear-cut test to determine if you have a fear or anxiety about the dentist. Dental phobia can include various levels. For some, physical symptoms of anxiety are present at the dental office, such as “butterflies” or nausea, sweaty palms, increased heart rate and even a full-blown panic attack. In general, if your feelings about the dentist make you too afraid or anxious to actually go to the dentist and get the dental care you need and deserve, sedation dentistry can be an excellent solution for you.
Why Does Dental Anxiety Exist?
It can help to find the root cause of your anxiety. The reason for dental fear or anxiety can be unique to each patient. Common culprits can include:
- Fear of pain
- Aversion to the smell of latex or sound of the dental drill
- Bad childhood experience
- Fear of dental needles
- Severe gag reflex
What Are The Most Common Types of Sedation?
Most sedation dentists offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) as well as oral sedation (taking a pill). Nitrous oxide is the lightest form of sedation and the most commonly used, as it is safe for kids and adults and does not have any lingering side effects. Oral sedation, by means of taking a prescribed pill before your dental visit, is a moderate form of sedation. It is best for short appointments, but patients cannot drive themselves home. A small percentage of dentists also offer IV sedation for patients who have severe dental phobia and need to be more deeply sedated.
What Can I Expect If I Choose Nitrous Oxide Sedation?
Nitrous Oxide is more commonly referred to as “laughing gas.” It is also the form of sedation that is used for children who need help relaxing in the dental chair. Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling gas that is administered through a small nosepiece or mask. You will gently breathe in the gas and be put into a state of relaxation within 2-4 minutes. You will be able to communicate with your dentist throughout the procedure, but you can expect to be very calm and unbothered by the dental work that is being performed. One of the primary benefits of Nitrous Oxide is that the effects wear off within minutes after the mask is removed, which means there are no lingering side effects or lengthy recovery. Patients can safely drive themselves home.
If I Get Sedation Dentistry, Will I Still Get Numbing Injections?
Yes, even though sedation will relax you or provide amnesia-like effect, injections are still necessary in most cases because sedation doesn’t prevent the perception of pain. Numbing injections or local anesthetics will eliminate pain in the mouth, but sedation can help patients feel comfortable about getting the injection. Most patients won’t recall the injection or the dental procedure after it is done.
Am I A Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
The majority of patients are good candidates for sedation dentistry. The more important question is what kind of sedation you need and what will allow you to achieve the relaxed experience you desire. This can be determined through an evaluation by your dentist. At Grateful Dental, we encourage patients to meet with us to discuss their specific fears, past experiences, medical history, family history and goals or expectations. Patients who are pregnant or who have diabetes, thyroid disorder, liver/kidney disease or respiratory disorders may need a physician’s clearance and more careful monitoring.
Sedation Dentist in Marietta
If you have more questions about sedation dentistry, please call Grateful Dental. We make it a priority to provide relaxing, stress-free dental care. We also realize that not every patient is naturally comfortable about the dentist. You can trust that we will take the time to understand your fears and anxieties and educate you about your options in sedation dentistry.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Leia Porcaro
Marietta, GA 30067