When was the last time you were excited about visiting your dentist? If you said never, then you are not alone. Hundreds of people have a very real fear of the dentist. It probably has to do with the idea of lying in a chair with your mouth open and having someone dig around while you are helpless to say anything. Anxiety builds up even before you arrive at the dentist office, just from the thought of the procedure. Well fear no more, sedation dentistry could be the answer to your prayers.
Types of sedation
Sedation dentistry is administered through various methods. Gas, pills, or IV are the means used to administer some type of calming agent. Gas, also known as laughing gas, is really Nitrous Oxide and is administered through a mask. When you inhale the medicine you start to feel relaxed. That is often all that patients with mild anxiety or sensitive teeth need to get through a routine procedure. There is also IV sedation that is administered via an intravenous needle. At Kingstowne Dentistry however, we only offer sedation in pill form.
Sedation in pill form usually includes Halcion, which is a mild sedative. These pills act as a calming agent and are so effective that patients often sleep through their procedures. You can be woken up if the need arises. This procedure is becoming more popular with both dentists and their patients, since it is relatively safe.
Is Sedation Dentistry for Me?
There are certain types of people who are prime candidates for sedation dentistry. If you are extremely anxious or have a low threshold for pain this might be for you. Some people simply have a bad gag reflex and could not sit through any dental procedures. Still another reason to use sedation at your dentist is if you will be having a large amount of work done at one time.
Is it Safe?
Sedation dentistry can be very safe if your dentist is knowledgeable about the administration. Dentists who provide IV sedation must be certified in the administration and should have completed the Commission of Dental Accreditation. (CODA)
How Safe is it?
For most people, sedation dentistry is perfectly safe. A few people such as those who are obese or have obstructive sleep apnea should consult with their physician before having sedation. Your dentist will also talk to you about your medical history to determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for sedation procedures. Your age and your health will play a role in determining how well you might handle being sedated at the dentist.
So if you’ve been putting off years of much needed dental work because of fear, now is your chance to get the help you deserve. Call your dentist to see if they offer sedation dentistry and to see if you might benefit by using it.