Does the thought of having your teeth worked on make you anxious or uncomfortable? Do the sight of needles and the sound of dental drills make you cringe? Dental phobia is actually a lot more common than you may think. It is estimated that about 15% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of this reason. Now imagine if you could have everything done while you nap comfortably, waking with zero recollection of the procedure. Would that be a dream come true or what? By the use of oral sedation, we can do this for you.
But first, who does dental anxiety affect? What kinds of symptoms should one look out for? It can actually affect a wide range of patients, including people with:
- High dental anxiety and fear
- A severe gag reflex
- Difficulty getting numb
- Extensive treatment needs
- A desire to have dentistry done comfortably while they are in a relaxed state
To break it down simply, sedation dentistry your dentist’s way to relax you enough to handle the dental procedure and it’s done through the use of medication. There are various levels that you can be sedated, from minimal sedation to the completely unconscious general anesthesia. What you receive will depend on your fear and the recommendation made by your dentist. A numbing agent will be administered to the area as well. This will alleviate any pain you may have from the procedure. The idea is to make you as comfortable as possible as they do their job and to make recovery time minimal. Thankfully, there are many ways this “relaxation” can be administered.
If you aren’t in need of a lot to relax you, chances are you will be receiving nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. It is given to you as you breathe through a mask, so zero pain is involved. Because it is not a long-lasting option, you will not be under long and will have the option to drive home afterwards. If you need to be calmed with a bit more than a mask full of laughing gas, the next option would be an oral sedative, or via an IV. While the pill can be taken beforehand, the IV version takes affect a lot quicker but also has the ability to be adjusted as needed. For the more invasive procedures, a deeper sedation will be required. This deep sedation method renders you unconscious and unable to awaken easily, unlike the other lighter versions.
It is important to discuss all of your options with your dental professional before any procedure. They will know which method is best for both you and your fears while in their care. Mention your medical history or any other vital information that will help them to decide the appropriate method. Find out the risks and exactly how much experience your dental professional has had with your procedure. Make sure you are in good hands. The more you know, the calmer you will feel when it’s time to get things done.
For more information about sedation dentistry, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.
Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.