The fear of going to the dentist has long been a trope used in almost every medium of popular culture, but dental anxiety is a real problem for many people. An excessive nervousness or apprehension that builds before a dental appointment is not uncommon among many Americans. Even those who do not consider themselves to…
How Sedation Dentistry Can Ease Dental Anxiety
You may know where your dental anxiety comes from, or you may not. You may have had a bad dental experience in the past, or you may have feared the dentist for as long as you can remember. Remember that it’s also possible to have anxiety come up seemingly out of nowhere. Fear of dental procedures can also come from and involve other worries, like the fear of pain and not being in control.
Putting off dental appointments because of fear will only increase your risk of tooth decay and gum problems. Your dentist may be able to offer you sedation solutions that will allow you to relax while also minimizing the amount of pain you feel. These solutions are for both adults and children and can help with a range of anxieties and fears about the dentist. Be open about your fears and talk to your dentist so they can determine which sedation method fits your needs.
Help with minor dental anxiety
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a great sedation option for most patients. It can be regulated to provide you with the right level of sedation. If your dentist gives you nitrous oxide before a local anesthetic injection, the injection will not feel uncomfortable, and you should not feel any pain during the dental procedure.
If you are using nitrous oxide, you will most likely be able to drive yourself to and from your appointment because the sedation wears off quickly. Nitrous oxide can also be used in combination with other sedation techniques to produce a higher level of sedation.
Oral sedatives are available in liquid or pill form. If you experience moderate anxiety levels, your dentist can give you a tablet to take before your appointment. This type of sedation will help to relieve the anxiety that can build leading up to your procedure. However, if you use this sedation method, you will not be able to drive yourself to your appointment.
Help with major dental anxiety
Suppose you suffer from an extreme level of fear and anxiety about your dental treatment. In that case, you may want to discuss the option of deep sedation or general anesthesia with your dentist. With these techniques, you will be barely conscious or completely unconscious during the dental procedure. You will not feel any discomfort or pain during the procedure. Once you have had an experience with sedation dentistry, your anxiety level about future dental procedures may begin to decrease on its own.
People are not born with a fear of dental exams and procedures. Most fears are due to negative past experiences with dental procedures or childhood trauma. In other cases, the anxiety may come from hearing horror stories from others that may be exaggerated. Talk to your dentist about your dental concerns and fears. They will be there for you and provide solutions so you can face your fears and keep your mouth healthy.
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Sedation dentistry involves using medications to induce a state of extreme relaxation while you are having an oral procedure done. It does not make you unconscious, but it does significantly decrease your sensitivity to pain. It can also induce a state of short-term amnesia so that you have little memory of what happened during the…