Be Calm and Comfortable with Sedation Dentistry
One of the most common reasons people avoid visiting the dentist is because they suffer from dental anxiety. This phobia often interferes with getting the proper treatment needed to maintain good oral health. Sedation dentistry, however, makes it possible for even the most skittish person to be comfortable in the dentist’s chair while in a deep state of relaxation.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
Your dentist will take every measure to make sure you’re comfortable during dental cleanings, emergency procedures, and any cosmetic and restorative dentistry treatments. But when your nerves can’t be calmed, or your anxiety and anticipation are high, the option of sedation dentistry is available. In other words, if you’d rather just “sleep” away your dental visit than be conscious for whatever is on tap for you, you can.
There are two types of sedation dentistry available at Kendall Breeze Dental Centers:
- Laughing gas: Laughing gas is administered via a small mask over your nose which emits the gas mixed with oxygen. Also known as nitrous oxide, laughing gas produces a conscious but euphoric state that relaxes a patient and makes you more comfortable. While under nitrous oxide, you will be able to hear your dentist and respond to any directions or requests your dentist may have, but your nerves will be calm. Nitrous oxide is usually well-tolerated by most patients and it is eliminated quickly from the body once your dental procedure is completed, the gas is turned off, and the nose mask is removed.
- Oral sedation: With the oral sedation option, a patient typically takes a pill the night before dental treatment and then another pill just prior to the procedure. Oral sedation will make you drowsy, but you will still be awake. Some people, however, become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure. You’ll be easily awakened after your dental procedures are complete, but it will be recommended that you have someone drive you home after your appointments.
When Can Sedation Dentistry Be Used?
For the incredibly dental-phobic patient, sedation dentistry may be necessary for every dental visit. For other patients, sedation dentistry can help make lengthy procedures more tolerable. Depending on your overall health and well-being, sedation dentistry can be used for minor or major dental procedures including:
- Dental cleanings and exams: When you have such a fear of the dentist that you can’t get in the chair for the all-important teeth cleaning and exam, sedation dentistry can help you relax and keep these important appointments.
- Getting a cavity filled: For some people it’s the sound of the dentist’s drill that they just can’t tolerate. While local anesthetics like novocaine help you undergo the tooth-colored fillings without pain, sedation dentistry makes it possible to get a cavity filled without being incredibly tense about the tools that are being used.
- Emergency dentistry: When severe tooth damage occurs because of a fall, accident, or other injury, a patient may be so distraught that they can’t sit still in the dental chair to have the necessary procedures completed. Sedation dentistry relaxes the patient enough that emergency dentistry can be completed without delay or interruption.
- Periodontal therapy: Gum disease is unpleasant and it can be painful. Many patients who avoid the dentist because of their phobia will eventually find themselves in a dental chair anyway, having to deal with the oral health issues that developed because they dragged their feet about getting proper dental care. Sedation dentistry makes it possible for periodontal therapy to occur as easily and painlessly as possible.
- Restorative dentistry: Treatments like full-mouth reconstruction and dental implants often require multiple appointments and more time in the dentist’s chair. Sedation dentistry makes these appointments more tolerable and go much faster.
- Cosmetic dentistry: Ever dreamed of going to sleep and waking up with a brand new smile? Sedation dentistry and cosmetic dentistry are a duo that makes it possible. You can “wake” from your procedures transformed, porcelain veneers shining or a smile makeover renewing your confidence.
Are You a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
A full medical history will be taken before any sort of sedation dentistry is administered to ensure that you are completely healthy and that your body is capable of handling sedation.
Your initial consultation with your dentist about your oral health issues and dental phobia will also help get you in the right frame of mind for your procedure. Knowing exactly what is coming, what tools will be used, the noises you can expect to hear, and being supremely informed about your treatment often makes dentistry far easier for the nervous patient to handle.
Sedation dentistry is often recommended for patients who are undergoing multiple treatments at one time. It allows you to not focus on the amount of time you’re spending in the dentist’s chair while it permits the dentist to work more efficiently.
Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Dental Phobia
You don’t really need any reason to be scared of the dentist. A fear is a fear and you don’t have to apologize for it. Nevertheless, being afraid of the dentist is one fear that must be conquered if you want to maintain healthy teeth and gums for your entire life.
Some patients have no problem walking in a dentist’s office or even get in the exam chair. But when it comes to tools being used on their teeth, or a cavity being filled, or any sort of drilling noise assailing their ears, the fear becomes very real.
Knowing where your dental fear originated can be half the battle in conquering any nerves. Often, an unpleasant dental memory from childhood can taint a person’s relationship with their oral health. Discussing this matter with your dentist or with a primary care physician or mental health professional can help you develop coping mechanisms so that you are prepared for every visit to the dentist. And it’s nice to know of course that sedation dentistry is always an option to help further calm your fears.
Contact Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez and Dr. Sharon Schmeiser in Miami, Florida, to discuss any dental problems or concerns you have and to determine what type of sedation dentistry may be right for you.