Dental anxiety is a common condition that affects millions of people across the United States. Patients with dental phobia often avoid going to the dentist, which in turn leads to poor oral health.
Are you afraid of the dentist? You’re not alone! According to a survey conducted by the American Dental Association, over 50% of adults experience anxiety while at the dentist’s office. So what can you do to ease your nerves when going to the dentist? You could take anti-anxiety medication, but that’s not always a good idea – especially if you’re going for your bi-annual cleaning appointment! In fact, many dentists won’t even administer these drugs intravenously due to their highly addictive nature. A better alternative is sedation dentistry, which can allow you to undergo complex dental procedures without discomfort or worry.
What Types of Sedation Dentistry Options Are Available?
There are three types of sedation that are commonly used in dental offices: nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation. The type you receive depends on your individual needs; your dentist will discuss your options with you and help you decide which one is best for you. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is administered through a mask over the nose that induces feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Oral conscious sedation is administered through a pill taken about an hour before the appointment. You’ll feel groggy and relaxed but will still be awake and able to respond to any questions the dentist may have for you during the procedure. IV sedation involves an injected sedative into the vein that allows you to fall into a deep state of relaxation. All three of these options will allow you to stay calm and stress-free through your appointments.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
While all dental procedures have some degree of risk, when performed by a qualified professional, sedation dentistry is extremely safe. In fact, it is a much safer alternative than avoiding dental treatment due to dental anxiety or fear. Many patients also report feeling less pain and sensitivity with sedation dentistry compared to other types of treatments. Here’s what you need to know about how sedation dentistry works and whether or not it’s right for you.
A trained dentist will administer the sedative medication and monitor the patient throughout the procedure to ensure safety. During treatment, the medication will keep you relaxed and pain-free, but you’ll still be awake and aware enough to respond to any instructions your dentist may give. Once the sedative wears off, you’ll be in the driver’s seat and can resume normal activities.
Most patients who undergo sedation dentistry are able to drive home after the appointment. However, you should bring someone with you in case you don’t feel well enough to drive home alone. Additionally, you’ll need to arrange transportation to and from the office for your procedure. Some types of sedation medications may make it difficult for you to operate a vehicle safely for the rest of the day.
If you’re still concerned about the safety of your sedation dentistry procedure, talk to your dentist about your concerns during your consultation. They will be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have and discuss any other precautions you should take before your treatment.
To learn more, call (719) 471-1900 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit Dentist in Colorado Springs, CO, at 1705 N Weber St, Colorado Springs, CO 80907.