When it comes to visiting the dentist, do you feel anxious? You’re not alone; many people dread receiving dental treatment because they have dental phobias and anxiety. Unfortunately, for some, these kinds of fears can prevent patients from receiving the oral healthcare they need and deserve. Some patients will forego necessary, tooth-saving treatment for years at a time because their anxiety is too much to handle. For patients with moderate to severe anxiety in dental settings, we offer sedation dentistry—a service that involves using anti-anxiety medication to provide a worry-free and comfortable experience, even for the most fearful patients.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation has been used in dentistry for centuries. Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” for example, is a safe and fast-acting method that has been used by oral healthcare professionals for over 100 years. Other forms of sedation used in dentistry include orally administered prescription medication and intravenous drugs. The following are some common benefits to receiving sedation dentistry:
- Reduced feelings of fear, panic, and worry
- Relaxation during procedures that require stillness
- Safe administration of medication since it is overseen by trained professionals
- Improved comfort during treatment
Using sedatives in dentistry helps patients overcome their fears and phobias, thus making those with phobias less likely to forego necessary oral care procedures.
How Sedation Works
The mildest form of sedation, nitrous oxide, works by administering this gas through a nasal mask. Nitrous oxide has sedative and anesthetic qualities so it produces warm, euphoric feelings quickly. The amount of nitrous oxide can be easily adjusted to each patient’s needs.
Sedation may also be given via oral prescriptions. These prescriptions are usually anti-anxiety medications that prevent the GABA receptors in the brain from producing chemicals that create anxiety and panicked emotions.
For lengthy procedures or surgeries, IV sedation may be used. Licensed professionals in a highly controlled environment administer IV sedation so that patients enjoy a safe and relaxing experience.
To learn more about the benefits of sedation dentistry, call our office at 214-343-1818.