Unfortunately, many patients with dental anxiety develop their fears or have them reinforced based on negative memories from past experiences. Sedation dentistry may be able to help these patients overcome those fears because most people will have no memory of a procedure completed while they are under sedation.
In addition to helping the patient relax enough to tolerate the treatment, the medications administered by a sedation dentist also can leave the patient with amnesia of the appointment timeframe, eliminating any potentially negative memories of the procedure.
A sedation dentist can deliver these anti-anxiety drugs via a number of different methods. The patient can take a pill by mouth in advance of the appointment or receive medications intravenously upon arriving for the appointment. Nitrous oxide can also have a sedating effect, and that effect is reversed rather quickly.
Sedation often is considered to be a safer method than general anesthesia because patients remain conscious and their airways are not compromised, neither of which is true of general anesthesia. Discuss your various options with your sedation dentist so that you can make the best choice for your particular case.
Regardless of the sedation method you choose, be sure to follow the instructions provided by your dentist. For example, you may need to make arrangements to have a responsible adult escort you home from the appointment if the sedation will still be affecting you when it’s time to leave. Patients who choose IV sedation will need to fast after midnight in advance of the appointment. Your dentist can also give you more specific directions related to your case.
Sedation dentistry can help you access the dental care that you need, and you’re unlikely to have any negative memories after your appointment. To learn more about how sedation may benefit you, contact the office of Dr. Barry Buchanan at 214-343-1818 to speak to a knowledgeable member of our dental team.