Globally, almost four out of ten people have dentophobia, the fear of dentists. They avoid the dentist at all costs, risking their oral health. For most, the pain is due to the fear of pain. Little do they know that their fear that keeps them away from the dentist can result in major health problems.
Sedation dentistry gives individuals that fear pain a chance to visit their dentist. It results in painless dental procedures. The method utilizes medications to help patients relax and feel comfortable during the visit. This Family dentist in Clackamas is one of the many dental professionals that provide sedation dentistry. There are different methods to sedate patients, from laughing gas to anesthesia.
Let’s first look at the types of medication you can find so you know before you visit a clinic that offers sedation dentistry near you.
Types of sedation dentistry
There are different types of sedation offered by dentists, depending on the extent of your fear. The most common methods are as follows:
- Laughing gas: Nitrous oxide is commonly known as laughing gas. It is administered through a mask placed over a patient’s nose. As the patient breathes in the gas, they become calmer, their muscle relaxes, and pain tolerance is increased. It takes a few minutes for the gas to wear off, once the mask is removed.
- Oral conscious sedation: In this method, the patient takes a pill about an hour before the procedure. The pill helps them relax. The patient is conscious and responsive throughout the procedure but remains calm.
- IV sedation: A certified anesthesiologist conducts IV sedation. The anesthesia enters the bloodstream. Therefore, it is dangerous if not administered correctly. Patients that opt for this remain conscious but not fully aware. Therefore, they don’t remember much of the procedure afterward.
Now, let’s look at the benefits sedation dentistry offers patients.
Dental anxiety results in people avoiding their dentists, letting oral problems fester until they become serious. The fear could be due to an unpleasant visit in the past or letting someone work in their mouth. Whatever the reason may be, not visiting the dentist puts oral health at risk. Taking care of oral health is vital because problems such as periodontist lead to heart disease when left untreated.
Dental sedation helps individuals calm down. For example, laughing gas allows you to stay conscious but relax during a procedure. It takes your mind off the procedure, without any harmful side effects. Dentists can perform the procedure with ease and you go home with a healthier mouth and a brighter smile.
Some dental procedures take hours and can be discomforting, even for individuals that regularly visit their dentist. Sedation gives all patients a chance to relax during long, painful procedures such as root canal. The sedative calms the patient’s nerves, so they don’t tense up as they anticipate pain.
Sedative dentistry has allowed dentists to operate on individuals with a low threshold of pain, sensitive teeth, and gag reflexes. The medication relaxes the patient’s muscles which makes operating on them easier. For patients, sedatives reduce discomfort and make most procedures pain-free.
In most cases, you try to avoid anything that results in any type of amnesia. However, dental procedures can be scary. Many individuals that fear the dentist do so because of a previous unpleasant visit. Depending on the type of sedation, patients can be either conscious or unconscious during procedures. In either case, they rarely remember what happens during it once the medication wears off. Therefore, they don’t remember any discomfort or create new memories that further solidify their fear of the dentist. The fact that they vaguely recall the visit, considering it to be pleasant, allows them to continue to visit their dentist.
Allows the dentist to work faster
Sedation relaxes patients so they don’t squirm or tense up during a procedure. Which makes it much easier for dentists to operate. They don’t have to worry about arms flailing or any sudden movements. They can go into the mouth, work efficiently, and complete the procedure. This saves them and the patient a lot of time.
Don’t let dentophobia keep you from the dentist. Visiting the dentist is essential for good oral health. In fact, you should visit a dentist for a checkup once every six months. Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. You need to make sure it is healthy. Ignoring oral problems usually will result in other health problems. So, if you fear going to the dentist, look into sedation dentistry to help you overcome your fear and ensure you keep your beautiful smile.
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