While dental professionals continue to urge patients to commit to regular checkups and examinations, it’s no secret that many individuals continue to fear going to the dentist. As such, they might dodge the dentist at all costs. It still remains—oral health is directly related to one’s overall health, and avoiding the dentist puts individuals at risk for disease and worsening of existing conditions. The good news, however, is that with continued advancements in dental and patient care, patients can sail through dental treatment with sedation dentistry.
As explained by Colgate, sedation dentistry utilizes a combination of techniques, from nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to general anesthesia, in order to relax a patient during treatment and dental procedures. Yet, even for simple dental cleanings, sedation can be provided to combat severe anxiety or phobias. In essence, sedation dentistry is another way that dental professionals fulfill the unique needs of patients, helping them obtain the dental care that they need and deserve.
As mentioned, nitrous oxide, which is also referred to as laughing gas, is a common form of sedation dentistry. Administered through a mask that is gently placed over the nose, this type of sedation is inhaled and provides a soothing, calm effect. For anxious patients, nitrous oxide is highly effective at reducing anxiety associated with dental treatments.
Sedation may also be provided orally, with a pill that is taken approximately one hour before treatment. This type of sedation can be used alongside nitrous oxide or as a stand-alone method. In either case, while a patient remains awake during treatment, they are advised not to drive themselves home.
In some instances, a patient might be receiving multiple dental treatments at once or a procedure that requires more time. Thus, IV sedation provides a deeper level of relaxation, in which a patient is semi-awake. Even so, if recommended by a dentist, patients may also be given general anesthesia, allowing them to be asleep for the procedure. In both cases, some recovery time is required.
Placing a high value on patient care and comfort, Dr. Leia Porcaro is proud to offer various forms of sedation dentistry at her East Marietta practice, Grateful Dental. If you suffer from dental anxiety, or are haunted by a negative experience in the past, give us a call today. You deserve a rewarding dental experience, and sedation dentistry can help.