Having a great fear of the dentist can make it difficult to receive the dental care that you need. People who experience fear and anxiety when they visit a dental office may choose to avoid dental treatments altogether. Routine dental services, such as preventive treatments and dental cleanings, are not invasive and are rarely uncomfortable. However, people who suffer dental fears may even avoid these services.
Nevertheless, many dentists now offer sedation dentistry. This area of dentistry involves the application of sedation to calm the dental patient and help the person sit through a dental procedure without any fear or anxiety. Here are some of the types of sedation that may be used in dentistry and what you can expect from them.
Oral sedatives are taken by mouth about a half hour before a dental procedure is scheduled to be performed. This allows the medication to take effect prior to the dental service.
Because the medicine is taken about 30 minutes before the patient arrives at the dental office, another person will likely need to drive the dental patient to the appointment. In addition, the patient will need a ride home, since the sedative is unlikely to have worn off by the time the dental procedure is complete.
Oral sedatives cause the patient to feel relaxed and euphoric. In addition, they may incite a brief episode of memory loss, which can help the patient avoid distasteful memories associated with a dental service, such as thoughts of how a dental drill may have sounded.
Some dental sedatives are inhaled. The most popular gaseous medication that is used to combat dental anxiety is nitrous oxide, which is commonly known as laughing gas.
Laughing gas is applied immediately before a dental procedure is performed. The gas is administered using a mask that fits over the nose and mouth of the patient. Once the medicine has been inhaled, the mask is removed, and the dental procedure is performed.
The patient feels calm during the dental service and can remain relaxed as the dental work is performed. Feeling relaxed can be especially beneficial during lengthy dental treatments in which the patient must remain still for long periods. The calmness of the patient can even help the dentist get done faster because he or she does not have to battle the patient's fidgeting while trying to access particular areas of the mouth.
For more information about dental sedation options, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your local area.