For most patients, going to the dentist is a neutral or enjoyable experience. But for patients who have dental anxiety or a particularly strong gag reflex, a dentist appointment is a frustrating – or even scary – experience. Here at Badie Dental, we understand that dental phobia is a real condition, and we’re proud to offer a variety of sedation options to help our more nervous patients. If you’ve been putting off a dentist appointment due to anxiety, a sedation dentistry session can help you to get the care you need without any of the fear or trauma. Here’s what you need to know.
How It Works: Go to Sleep and Wake Up with a New Smile
Sedation dentistry relies on the use of sedatives or anti-anxiety drugs to soothe and relax fearful patients. This completely safe form of dentistry is quite common throughout North America, and was developed in order to meet a growing demand for more pleasant dentistry experiences. Estimates range in number, but most sources say that anywhere from 15 to 50 percent of Americans put off or avoid seeing the dentist due to dental anxiety. As a result, the dental industry has created a variety of affordable and accessible sedation options for anxious patients. During your appointment, your dentist and a sedation specialist will administer a sedative or anxiolytic that will prevent you from feeling pain or even remembering your procedure. After the procedure, you’ll awaken with your dental work complete.
Multiple Sedation Options for Your Unique Needs
There are multiple levels of sedation, each one designed for a different kind of patient and procedure. The lightest level of sedation involves nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. When under the effects of nitrous oxide, you’ll be fully conscious during your dental procedure, but you’ll feel no anxiety and you’ll have no memory of the procedure even taking place. Nitrous oxide is easy to reverse – as an inhaled drug, its effects wear off as soon as you stop breathing it in – so you can drive yourself home from your appointment.
If you’re looking to have more extensive dental work done, you’ll need a heavier sedative. IV sedation and oral sedation are stronger sedative options that place you in a deeply relaxed (though still conscious) state. You’ll remember very little of your appointment while under the effects of an IV or oral sedative. IV sedation in particular can be quite useful if you have a strong gag reflex, as it relaxes the throat muscles.
For more invasive procedures, though, the best kind of sedation is general anesthesia. When under general anesthesia, you’ll be completely unconscious for the whole duration of your procedure. This is a great option for people with anxiety disorders who are taking regular sedatives or antianxiety drugs as part of a mental health treatment plan.
Sedation dentistry is a great option for nervous patients, patients with anxiety disorders, and patients with a strong gag reflex. If you’ve been putting off a dental procedure due to anxiety, we can help. Here at Badie Dental we offer a range of sedation options and can provide you with great dental work while you sleep. For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Badie, call us today at (520) 433-9800.Leave a reply →