Dental anxiety or fear is a fairly common issue in dental practice. It is estimated to affect nearly 36% of the population, with far-reaching implications on their overall oral health. 20% of Americans admit to skipping their appointments due to dental phobia.
Sedation Dentistry Is a Viable Solution
39% of people with dental anxiety attribute it to pain, 24% to the smell of chemicals, and the sound of the drill at 21%. Sedation dentistry remains a key solution to alleviating patients’ fears and unpleasant sensations. We have several options to help alleviate any stress you may have about a procedure, such as administering Nitrous Oxide, Oral Conscious sedation via an anti-anxiety medication, as well as IV sedation
Types of Sedation Dentistry
As mentioned above, we may use different types and levels of sedation, based on your anxiety level and complexity of the procedure. Oral sedation achieves a calm and relaxed state by ingesting pill prior when you arrive at the office the day of your appointment. You may remain awake and responsive, only a little drowsy. Moderate sedation with a higher dosage is also available to achieve a deeper relaxation
Nitrous oxide or laughing gas has a short-lived effect on patients. The dentist administers the gas through a mask before commencing the sedation dentistry procedure. You may receive oxygen after the procedure to quickly remove any lingering effects. Intravenous sedation involves the administration of anesthesia through an IV to your bloodstream. It is the highest level of sedation which is why we have an Anesthesiologist in the room monitoring all of your vitals to ensure your safety throughout the entire procedure.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
When proper guidelines are followed, all types of sedation dentistry are safe and effective for patients. Nitrous oxide is the lightest level of sedation and you can typically drive yourself home after the procedure. Oral, moderate, and intravenous sedation may have lingering effects for hours after you visit the dentists. It is advisable to organize for transportation home afterward.
After a thorough health history review we are able to determine which level of sedation would be best for you and your needs. Written and verbal pre and post op instructions are reviewed with you before and after the procedure. During the appointment our Anesthesiologist is in the room monitoring all of your vitals throughout the procedure. Pain medication is prescribed as needed depending on the depth and involvement of the procedure. Our patients continually tell us how they had very little pain when healing, significantly less than they were expecting.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Each type of dental sedation solution may have its benefits in specific situations. First, sedation may reduce dental anxiety. You can comfortably sit still throughout the procedure, allowing you to get the dental care you need.
Anesthesia may prevent you from moving around as we perform the procedures needed. Sedation dentistry can numb you from feeling any pain during the procedure. You can undergo a pain-free, effective dental intervention to improve your oral health.
Understandably, a considerable percentage of the population may be apprehensive about a visit to the dental office. If you are a little nervous about your trip, you may consider sedation dentistry. Reach out to Phillip and Schmitt, DDS to learn more about our sedation options.