Do you put off making an appointment with your dentist? Do you make dental appointments, only to then cancel them? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you may suffer from dental anxiety and may benefit from sedation dentistry.
Many people become anxious when they are faced with dental procedures. Dental professionals want their patients to be relaxed, not only for the patient’s comfort – but because it is much easier to provide excellent dental care to a patient who is comfortable.
There are several reasons why people dread visits to the dentist. You may see the reason for your anxiety in these examples:
- Aversion to needles
- Sensitive teeth and gums
- Lengthy appointments
- Overactive gag reflex
- Low pain tolerance
An aversion to needles is a common factor in putting off dental work. If you are one of the many who cringe at the thought of going to your dentist for fear of needles, you are not alone. Using a cotton swab, most dentists apply a topical anesthetic to the area to make it numb before inserting the needle. Once this is done, closing your eyes and listening to music may help you through the numbing process. Even with dental sedation, local anesthesia is usually still applied.
Sensitive teeth and gums
You may notice that your teeth are sensitive when you drink something hot, cold, sweet, sour, or even when you take in a breath of cold air. You might get a sharp pain that feels like it goes deep into the roots of your teeth. This pain or sensitivity may be caused by receding gums, a cracked tooth, exposed roots, or tooth decay. A painful mouth may make you afraid to see your dentist, but avoiding the inevitable is only going to make matters worse. If you opt for dental sedation, you can have these problems treated and your gums and teeth will no longer be painful.
When you have a lot of dental work that needs to be done, sometimes the appointments can be lengthy. This is often a reason why people put off their dental work. One fix for this is to have an honest talk with your dentist to see if the appointment can be broken up into shorter ones. If this isn’t possible, think about sedation dentistry to have all of your treatments done at one time, and be done with them!
Overactive gag reflex
There are some physical causes for a hypersensitive gag reflex, but it is most often caused by stress. If you are avoiding having your dental work done because of how easily your gag reflex kicks in, dental sedation is definitely an option you should consider.
Low pain tolerance
Different people react differently to pain and have differing pain thresholds. Pain is a part of your body’s natural defense mechanism, and it is not to be ignored. With sedation dentistry, you can have the dental procedures completed with little to no pain.
There is hope – Sedation Dentistry
With sedation dentistry, you don’t have to worry about any of the above issues. There are several types of sedation that will help you get through your necessary dental procedures.
- Minimal sedation – awake but relaxed
- Moderate sedation – conscious sedation
- Deep sedation – you can still be awakened
- General anesthesia – completely asleep
Minimal to moderate sedation
By breathing nitrous oxide (laughing gas), combined with oxygen, you will feel relaxed while your dental procedures are performed. This can be used for general anxiety control and during minor procedures, if needed.
Oral (pill) sedation can be used for minimal or moderate sedation. This sedation comes in the form of a pill, taken about an hour before the procedure. Depending on the dosage, your sedation level will be minimal to moderate. You will feel drowsy (you may even go to sleep), but most often you will still be awake.
Moderate and deep sedation
Moderate sedation is used for complex procedures and, as stated, can be provided by using oral medications, but is usually obtained by using an IV. With this type of sedation, you will be given medications through a vein. IV sedation works quickly and can be monitored and adjusted, as the level of sedation needed during your procedure indicates. With IV sedation, your airway is not obstructed and you can be aroused easily when the medication is stopped.
General anesthesia is most often reserved for complex procedures. This type of sedation is usually performed by oral or maxillofacial surgeons.
Sedation dentistry has helped many people overcome their fear and reluctance to have much needed dental procedures performed. Your dental health is important to your body’s overall health, so if you have been putting off going to the dentist – put it off no longer. Whatever fears you may have, you can discuss them with the professionals at Ingenious Dentistry and we will work with you to get them done as painlessly as possible.