It is common knowledge that it is beneficial for your oral health to consult a dentist on a regular basis, as a regular professional exam, preventive care and effective treatment will make sure that your teeth are clean, healthy and with you for years to come. However, while not arguing with this recommendation, many people put off seeing the dentist due to a deep seated ‘dental fear.’ For many reasons, it is common for patients of all ages to be frightened of a dental visit, and as a result push off dental appointments as much, and as often, as possible. But there is a solution for people in this situation, sedation dentistry. A majority of dentists today offer some form of sedation dentistry, which will help even the most fearful people relax and feel calm and tension-free during their entire dental appointment.
Sedation dentistry options
There are different types of dental sedation that can be offered by dentists today, which generally will depend on the stress levels you exhibit, your dentist’s recommendations and on your personal comfort level. In cases where you exhibit only minor anxiety, your dentist may recommend an oral sedative, or oral sedation. Patients will take the oral sedative prior to their dental appointment, and the relaxing effect will address any anxiety while the dentists and their assistants perform their treatment. Many dental offices provide the option of nitrous oxide, also known by its more popular name, laughing gas. Nitrous is administered to patients in the dental office, and again is a popular and effective dental sedation option for patients needing help to relax. For patients wanting a higher level of sedation to help address severe anxiety or dental fear, IV sedation dentistry can be an option. While sometimes referred to as sleep dentistry, patients actually remain conscious and able to respond to verbal requests from the dentist, although it is not uncommon to feel foggy and the dental procedure may seem as though it is happening far away from you. Dentists are generally trained on conscious IV sedation, and depending on the regulations of the specific state, and on the certifications of the individual dentist, dental practices may work with certified anesthesiologists to administer the relaxant drugs intravenously to the patient.
Children and sedation
It is not uncommon to see children totally scared about dentists. This fear can be caused by a previous negative experience, or by a general fear or apprehension around a new and strange environment, which as parents know isn’t limited to dentistry. Both general and specialized dentists can work effectively with young patients, though pediatric dentists have specialized training in effectively managing your patients with anxiety and fear, and pediatric specialists are generally in the best position to determine whether sedation dentistry may be an option for your child. Sedation dentistry may be recommended should a child experience a lot of fear, have multiple dental problems, sensitive teeth, experience trouble while numbing and/or express uncontrollable bodily movements, but again the decision will be made through consultation between the dentist and the parents.
Finding the right dentist for you
If you are fearful of the dentist, dentistry today offers sedation options that can tailor the correct treatment plan and make it a relaxing and calm experience. Don’t let anxiety put off professional care for your teeth, as without regular dental check-ups and preventive care, that may make conditions in your mouth worse for you, and require even more dramatic or invasive dental treatments to correct the condition in the future. The important thing to do is look for the right sedation dentist for you. Schedule an initial consultation with your dentist, explain the specifics around your dental fear, understand the procedures needed and discuss sedation dentist options that are suited for your condition, and that you are comfortable with. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how dentists today often cater to patient with ‘dental fear’ and help you to put any sense of discomfort behind you.
[media-credit id=12 align=”alignleft” width=”350″][/media-credit]In the end, dental sedation can make all the difference for patients suffering from dental fear and anxiety. You can now relax and after your dental appointments feel refreshed and happy that you can smile with confidence.
Don’t let your fear stand in the way of your dental health.