It’s estimated that millions of Americans suffer from dental anxiety. Dental anxiety could present as fear or stress when it comes to visiting the dentist—sometimes, even just scheduling an appointment is anxiety inducing for these patients.
For some people with dental anxiety, they’re still able to receive dental treatment even with their fears, but may not be comfortable during their appointment. For others, dental anxiety may prevent them from going to the dentist at all.
What can be done about dental anxiety? Many dentists today are offering oral sedation as a way to help patients feel less anxious and more comfortable at the dentist office.
What Is Oral Sedation in Dentistry?
Oral sedation in dentistry uses medication to help patients relax and experience less anxiety during their appointment. During oral sedation, you’ll still be conscious and able to communicate, you’ll just feel more relaxed .
Here’s how it works: your dentist will prescribe an oral medication that you’ll take either before your appointment at home or at the dentist office upon your arrival. Once the medication takes effect, you’ll continue with your procedure.
You’ll need to arrange for someone to bring you to and from your appointment, and the effects of the medication should be gone by the following day. Your dentist will let you know more about what to expect based on your specific medication and procedure.
Patients Who May Qualify for Oral Sedation
Generally, any patient who experiences dental anxiety will be considered for oral sedation. A variety of factors are taken into account when it comes to oral sedation in dentistry, including the procedure to be done, your level of anxiety, and your health .
Before scheduling a procedure with oral sedation, your dentist will evaluate whether or not you qualify and review the next steps for moving forward with you.
Benefits of Oral Sedation for Patients with Dental Anxiety
From a regular teeth cleaning to a more involved procedure, oral sedation can help patients who have a range of anxiety levels get the treatment they need without the worry.
Oral sedation is considered to be safe and effective . For patients who experience distress about their dental visit, medication can help create a more positive experience which can make patients with dental anxiety more likely to return for future treatments.
Patients with dental anxiety who take advantage of oral sedation can also have numerous procedures completed in one visit. For instance, getting a teeth cleaning and a cavity filled at the same time can make it easier for patients instead of returning for numerous appointments which can potentially increase their anxiety.
Don’t Let Anxiety Keep You from Visiting the Dentist
If you suffer from dental anxiety, you don’t have to let your stress stop you from having the smile you’ve always wanted. Consider looking for a dentist who offers oral sedation options for your next procedure and schedule a consultation. You might just be surprised how much oral sedation can improve your experience at your next appointment!