Unfortunately, dental fear keeps a large number of patients away from the dentist’s office. This anxiety may prevent you from obtaining even routine care and can ultimately result in serious oral health consequences. Many patients who suffer from dental fear find that sedation helps them access the care they need.
How Sedation Dentistry Works
A sedation dentist administers medications that help patients achieve a deeply relaxed state before any interventions are performed. The drugs used in this approach are often from a class of anti-anxiety medications known as benzodiazepines. They may be delivered in pill form, gaseous form or intravenously. Your sedation dentist may recommend any of these three methods. Although patients feel as though they are asleep while under sedation, they actually remain conscious throughout the appointment.
Depending on the sedation method chosen, patients may need to prepare for sedation in advance of the appointment. For example, patients may be instructed to fast prior to receiving intravenous sedation. Also, patients will not have recovered fully from most sedation methods by the end of the appointment, so you will also need to arrange for a responsible adult to escort you home.
Benefits Of Sedation Dentistry
Patients who work with a sedation dentist to access dental care gain a number of benefits in the process. Because patients maintain consciousness while under sedation, the airway does not need to be maintained artificially as it does with general anesthesia. For this reason, sedation is generally considered to be a safer option than general anesthesia. Of course, your dentist will assess your medical history for any concerns that might contraindicate sedation.
Indeed, the main benefit of sedation dentistry is that this technique helps patients overcome anxiety that can be a barrier to their receiving necessary dental care. Patients also do not form memories while under sedation, so there is no opportunity for an existing dental fear to be reinforced and exaggerated.
Have you steered clear from regular dental checkups and cleanings because of dental fear? Investigate sedation dentistry as a treatment option that can give you peace of mind and help you access the treatments you need to keep your smile as healthy as possible.