If you suffer from dental anxiety and dental phobia, you are not alone. Millions of people feel anxiety, fear, and dread when they think about going to the dentist or need to make a dental appointment. Fortunately, there’s a better way to get the oral care you need without white- knuckling your way through your appointment.
Dental sedation is a practice where your dentist can administer a sedative either prior to your appointment or during your appointment to help you relax during your procedure. But is sedation dentistry right for you? Let’s take a closer look at this evolving practice.
There Are Different Types of Dental Sedation
Dental sedation is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are different types of sedation you can consider based on your specific needs. For example, a person with mild dental anxiety may only need minimal sedation, which may mean they need to take a medication before their appointment and they will be conscious throughout the procedure .
There’s also moderate sedation, which can be achieved through intravenous administering of a medication or oral medication, and deep sedation, both of which allow you to remain relatively conscious, but relaxed.
If you prefer, you may also be able to opt for general anesthesia, where you will not be conscious. Your dentist can talk with you about what types of sedation are available to you and which may be a potential fit for your needs.
Procedures You Can Get Sedation Dentistry for
Any dental procedure that you feel you need sedation dentistry for is a procedure you may be able to get it for. Whether you need a teeth cleaning, a root canal, a tooth extraction, or a cosmetic dentistry procedure, you can choose to have sedation dentistry with an experienced dentist to help alleviate your dental anxiety.
Dental sedation isn’t just for adults—it can also be used for children when appropriate to help them get the oral care they need . Dental sedation may be particularly beneficial for children with special needs or behavioral challenges who may have anxiety about having a dental procedure done.
What to Keep in Mind With Sedation Dentistry
With any type of sedation dentistry—unless you have nitrous oxide, or laughing gas—you will not be able to drive yourself home. You will need to arrange for someone to pick you up for your appointment to ensure you can get home safely.
You should also plan on taking the rest of the day off work and your normal activities to rest and recover from the sedation, which may take a few hours to completely wear off. Finding an experienced dentist to work with is important when opting for sedation dentistry.
Since the practice is highly personalized based on your specific needs, you need an oral healthcare professional who can customize your level of sedation so you can feel comfortable and confident when receiving your treatment .
Is Sedation Dentistry the Right Choice for You?
Sedation dentistry may be the right choice for you if you let dental anxiety or dental phobia prevent you from getting the oral care you need for a healthy smile. Ask your dentist about sedation dentistry to find out if this practice is an option for you!