If you're afraid of the dentist, take heart: You’re not alone. Many people suffer from dental anxiety or even a full-blown phobia of going to the dentist.
Fortunately, there are ways to receive dental care that won't leave you feeling anxious. Sedation dentistry refers to the use of medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. Sedation dentistry can make a trip to the dentist less stressful and more comfortable for most people who are in good health and taking certain precautions.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry refers to the use of medication to help relax patients undergoing dental procedures. It’s sometimes called sleep dentistry or conscious sedation dentistry, and it's an effective way of making patients feel comfortable during their treatment.
Sedation dentistry can help people who are nervous about going to the dentist or who have trouble sitting still for long periods of time. This type of treatment is also ideal for those who need extensive work done on their teeth.
Although not everyone is a good candidate for this type of treatment, sedation dentistry may be right for you if you're nervous about undergoing dental procedures.
What methods are available?
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an inhaled gas that doesn’t produce unconsciousness. It’s commonly used in dentistry and is safe for most people. Nitrous oxide reduces the sensation of pain and causes relaxation, euphoria, and a sense of well-being.
Some dentists prescribe benzodiazepines, which are sedatives that help you relax and stay calm during the procedure. Benzodiazepines work by increasing the activity of certain chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters, which help regulate your level of arousal and alertness. Benzodiazepines can help calm you down if you're anxious or stressed.
IV sedation involves administering a combination of sedatives into your bloodstream, which allows you to be entirely relaxed during the appointment and have little to no recollection of the procedure. When administered by an expert dentist, IV sedation is an excellent option for patients with extreme fears or phobias around dental treatment or those who require extensive dental work.
Who is a candidate for sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective treatment option for many patients. It's important to understand that there are several types of sedation, each with unique characteristics.
Not every drug will work for everyone. The best way to determine whether a particular type of sedation is right for you is by talking with your dentist before your procedure.
If you’re pregnant, have a history of substance abuse, mental illness, seizure disorders, or heart disease, your dentist may decide to avoid sedation dentistry.
Is sedation dentistry safe?
Your dentist will want to know what medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and vitamins. They'll also want to know if you have any conditions that could affect the safety of sedation dentistry for you.
As long as you tell your dentist about any medications you're taking or medical conditions you have and follow their instructions, sedation dentistry is safe.
Oak Road Dentistry Offers Sedation Dentistry in Snellville
Sedation dentists use an array of medications that will put anyone at ease. Still, it's essential to follow all instructions from your dentist before and after the procedure so that you don't experience any adverse side effects.
The dentists at Oak Road Dentistry have extensive training, including post-graduate residencies focused on sedation dentistry. Contact us today at 770-985-9559 to learn more about your options.