If thinking about going for a dental appointment makes you uncomfortable, you should consider going to a sedation dentist. Dental anxiety is a serious issue that affects about 50 percent of the people in the U.S. When left unchecked, it can easily lead to you canceling appointments with the dentist and neglecting your oral health.
When dealing with anxious patients, dentists often use sedatives to help their patients relax during treatments. It’s used for a wide range of procedures from simple cleanings to surgical procedures.
Considering sedation dentistry?
Let’s take a look at five important things you should know if you’re considering sedation dentistry:
1. Sedatives are different from anesthetics
There is a common misconception that these two types of drugs are similar, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sedatives and anesthetics are very different drugs. Sedatives are used to relax patients, while anesthetics are used to numb your sense so you do not feel pain during certain procedures.
If your dentist decides to go with a general anesthetic, you will be unconscious during the procedure. You are typically awake when sedatives are used, you are simply in a more relaxed state.
2. Sedation dentistry is safe when done properly
There are no major risks associated with sedation dentistry. Many of the sedatives used have been around for a while, so there’s lots of research verifying their effectiveness and safety. The type of sedative your dentist decides to go with depends on how severe your anxiety is. You might be prescribed some drugs to take before your appointment, or your dentist might decide IV sedation is more appropriate for you.
3. Doses are very specific
You should never self-medicate because you’re dealing with dental anxiety. Instead, follow your dentist’s recommendations and take whatever is prescribed as directed.
4. Dentists love sedation dentistry just as much
Sedating patients actually makes things a lot easier for dentists. With the patients in a more relaxed state, the dentist is able to get more work done since he/she no longer has to worry about stressing out the patient. That’s particularly important given the fact people who suffer from dental anxiety are more likely to neglect their oral health for extended periods of time. With sedation dentistry, it is possible for your dentist to repair the damage done by years of neglect during a single appointment.
5. People without dental anxiety can also benefit from sedation dentistry
While sedation dentistry can help you overcome dental anxiety, people who aren’t frightened when it’s time to go for a dental appointment can also benefit from it. Consider sedation dentistry if you:
- Need lots of dental work done
- Have had traumatic experiences with dentists in the past
- Have sensitive gums and teeth
- Have difficulty staying still
- Deal with jaw, neck, or back pain
- Can’t control your gag reflex
- Have a busy schedule
Ready to overcome your dental anxiety and take control of your oral health? Contact a sedation dentist and explore all your options.