If you long for a relaxing visit to your dentist that is free from anxiety, you are not alone and fortunately, there is a solution for you. If you are one of many dental patients who have fear related to sitting in a dental chair and receiving treatment, sedation dentistry may be the best solution for your dental phobia.
According to some experts, nearly 30 percent of adults in the United States experience fear and anxiety over dental services, and this fear keeps many people from voluntarily visiting the dentist for regular services such as cleanings and dental exams, and serious dental procedures to address important dental health issues. This avoidance of dental care is detrimental not only to dental health but also to overall health and wellness.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
In sedation dentistry, sedatives are administered to the patient that will help them remain calm and relaxed through a dental procedure. These can be administered in a variety of ways including tranquilizers, depressants, anti-anxiety medications or nitrous oxide. Traditionally, sedatives were administered intravenously through blood vessels located in the patient’s arm.
Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way to deal with anxiety and those who have fears over dental treatment likely have fears of other medical procedures, including those involving medications and needles. To combat this a variety of sedative options will include orally administered sedatives, which are far more appealing for many patients with dental phobia.
Because of the fears related to needles, oral sedation is not very common across the United States because of its simplicity, and this method is very effective at keeping patients calm and relaxed throughout the procedure such that many patients have a hard time remembering the experience at all. Sedation dentistry does not require that the patient is unconscious during the procedure, and in fact, for safety purposes it is best to keep the patient awake, but relaxed.
Is Sedation Used for Pain?
Sedation is far different from any type of local anesthetic. While it may make some pain tolerable, sedation may sometimes be used in conjunction with a local anesthetic for certain dental procedures. The purpose of a local anesthetic is to numb areas of the teeth and gum tissues so the patient will not be able to feel the procedure, and this is normally administered with an injection, but this is administered after the patient has been sedated into a state of relaxation.
Because the effects of sedation can significantly impair the patients senses, a patient undergoing sedation dentistry must be accompanied by someone as the patient will not be able to safely drive after the procedure, and someone should accompany the patient for 2 to 4 hours afterwards.
If you are located in the Brenham, TX area and you suffer from fear or anxiety over dental procedures, be sure to contact us at Brenham Family Dentistry today. We can provide you with all the information you need to make a decision regarding sedation dentistry.