Dental anxiety and fear is something often experienced but rarely talked about. Maybe you’re embarrassed to tell someone about your fears and would rather just not see the dentist at all. But if you’re reading this, know that you are not alone, about 75 percent of Americans suffer from some degree of dental anxiety.
How Does Sedation Reduces Fear For Patients?
Sedation reduces fear for patients by eliminating the worry about many of the common dental experiences. The medications reduce cognitive functioning (awareness), induce calm and some block memory. Common dental fears that sedation greatly help with are:
- Fear of pain
- Fear of the drill
- Fear of gagging
- Fear of loss of personal space
- Fear of helplessness
Sedation can completely eliminate all of those fears for most patients. Instead of feeling trapped in a fearful situation many patients report that the procedure seemed like it only lasted minutes when it could have been hours long. A good experience with sedation will make you more likely come back when further work is needed. This also helps to create a positive association with going to the dentist instead of a fear-based association.
Who Can Benefit Most From Sedation?
- Patients with high dental fear or anxiety
- Patients who have put off seeking treatment previously because of fear
- Patients with physical limitations
- Patients with jaw trouble that have trouble keeping their mouth open for long periods of time
- Patients with a low pain threshold
- Patients with a severe gag reflex
- Patients who can’t sit still
- Patients who need a lot of dental work completed
- Patients with sensitive teeth
Sedation Helps Your Dentist Do A Better Job
When a patient is anxious they can be very difficult to treat. Their anxiety might cause movements and reactions that can cause them harm and make performing procedures difficult. These issues can make the patient become even more anxious, what should be a simple procedure, becomes more much complicated. A sedated patient is much easier to work on since they are relaxed and more cooperative.
Sedation Dentistry Is Changing Lives
Sedation Dentistry is revolutionizing the way people feel about going to the dentist. Many of the people who would put off seeking help for dental issues because of fear, sometimes for decades, are now able to receive the treatment they need without feeling afraid. This allows patients to receive treatment before the issue becomes worse and potentially become a life-threatening issue.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation Dentistry is the use of sedation during a dental procedure. This helps the patient relax and it is easier for the dentist to perform the work. Several types of medications can be used to create different levels of sedation.
What Are The Types Of Sedation?
Minimal: A minimally reduced level of cognitive functioning. The patient is able to breathe on their own and respond normally to tactile stimulation and verbal command.
Moderate: A drug-induced reduction of consciousness during which patients can respond to verbal commands and tactile stimulation.
Deep: A drug included reduction of consciousness during which patients cannot easily be aroused but can be by pain or repeated stimulation.
How Is Sedation Administered?
Inhaled Sedation: Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” is inhaled through a mask device.
Oral Sedation: A pill is administered to the patient that will make the patient feel drowsy.
How Safe Is Sedation Dentistry?
As with any medical procedure, there is always a risk. Generally, sedation is handled well and side effects are rare. Common side effects can be little to no recollection of the procedure, dry mouth, and hiccups. To lower risks, it is important to accurately disclose your medical history and any medications you are currently taking. To avoid potential emergency situations we monitor your vital signs to make sure you are responding well to the sedation.
If are interested in learning more about sedation dentistry or to schedule a consultation, please do not hesitate to call us at 410-643-5500 or click here to request an appointment.
Dr. Scott Billings Answers The Question: What Is Sedation Dentistry?