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Visiting the dentist will probably never be considered an exciting activity, but it is something that is vital for maintaining a healthy and attractive smile. Nevertheless, for as many as 15% of the population, the prospect of stepping inside a dentist’s office is too much to bear. Dental anxiety may be a cliché, but it is a condition that is causing many people to suffer needless problems with their oral health. In some instances, patients wait until their pain or other symptoms are so severe that there is irreversible damage to their teeth and mouth.
If you suffer from dental anxiety, you are almost certainly concerned about the condition of your smile. Perhaps you have been suffering with dental pain for a long time but haven’t been able to sum up the courage to do anything about it. You might be avoiding certain foods or changing the way you eat or speak to accommodate your dental problem. There is an alternative that will allow you to undergo the necessary treatment to restore the function and appearance of your teeth – sedation dentistry.
What you need to know about sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry is a term used to describe the use of medications to induce a state of calm in a patient before they undergo a dental appointment. This could be for a simple check-up, or an invasive procedure. The patient is so calm and relaxed that it is possible for the dentist to perform whatever tasks are needed, thus benefitting the patient’s dental health and wellbeing.
Sedation dentistry is also regularly used for patients who have cognitive or physical disabilities that make it difficult, if not impossible, for them to tolerate a regular dental appointment.
Sedation is available at various levels, making it possible for your dentist to tailor the degree of sedation you need based upon how anxious or frightened you are and how long and invasive the dental procedure is. For example, a quick check-up may only require light sedation, whereas a procedure like root canal might necessitate the use of deep sedation, as it is a longer and more invasive process. We will only use the minimum sedation possible for you to feel comfortable during the appointment.
- Light Sedation – usually involves nitrous oxide being delivered to your body via a mask placed over your nose. Sedation only occurs while the mask is present as the effects wear off virtually instantly. You will feel light-headed but calm.
- Moderate sedation – usually requires you to swallow a pill/capsule around an hour before your appointment. You will be less conscious of what is going on around you and feel in a ‘dream-like’ state. Effects last for several hours and you will need someone to take you home after your appointment.
- Deep sedation – delivered intravenously via a cannula placed into your hand, you will barely be conscious and have no concept of what is happening around you and no memory of the procedure. Again, effects can last for some hours and support after the procedure is essential.
- General anesthetic – in extremely severe cases, it may be necessary for you to be put to sleep during the procedure. You will need a greater consultation to assess your general health before you can be approved for this type of sedation dentistry.
If your dental health is suffering as a result of your anxiety about visiting the dentist, enquire as to whether sedation services are available. Our dentist will be able to talk to you about the options available and work with you to decide which is most suited to your needs. With sedation dentistry, you can enjoy improved oral health and a more attractive smile for years to come. Call Dentistry at Power Ranch today to learn more about our sedation services at 480-405-1300.