The fear of dental procedures is called Odontophobia or Dentophobia. They worry about the pain they might feel as well as their vulnerability and potential discomfort. Sedation dentistry can definitely help you feel more relaxed during dental work.
With sedation, the dentist administers a drug before or during the dental procedure. Only one type, general anaesthesia, renders the patient completely unconscious. The other forms will relax you and won’t make you unconscious.
The most common types of sedation dentistry include the following:
- Nitrous oxide: A gas that relaxes you during the procedure. It wears off quickly, so your dentist might let you drive yourself home after the appointment.
- Oral sedatives: Oral sedatives, also help relax patients during dental procedures. You typically take them an hour or so before your appointment. You’re fully awake but less anxious, and you might feel a little sleepy until it wears off.
- Intravenous sedatives: IV sedatives can put you in varying stages of consciousness. This is also known as general anaesthesia and, as mentioned above, will put you into a deep sleep until it wears off. It can put you into a “twilight sleep.” You’re less aware of your surroundings, you might feel sleepy, and you might not remember much of the procedure once it’s over.
Talk to your dentist about it first when you plan to go for sleep dentistry. Mention any allergic reactions you’ve experienced in the past, especially to anaesthesia, so your dental professional can make safe recommendations.
How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?
The process depends on the type of sedation your dentist chooses for you.
- Oral sedative: Your dentist will write you a prescription for the drug and give you instructions on how to take it. Follow those instructions and you’ll benefit from reduced anxiety and increased relaxation. Once the medication begins to work, you should start to feel drowsy and relaxed.
- Nitrous oxide: You don’t have to prepare at all for nitrous oxide. Your dentist will supply it before, during, and right after the procedure.
- IV sedation: You might have to prepare in advance, your dentist might ask you to fast for several hours before the dental work. You might also need to avoid taking certain medications the day before you visit the dentist because they can interfere with the sleep medication.
Who Needs Sedation Dentistry?
- Those who have experienced bad dental work in the past
- Particularly sensitive people
- Small opening of mouth that becomes sore during dental work
- Resistance to local anaesthetic or fear of needles
- General anxiety disorder
If you recognise yourself in any of those problem areas, consider asking your dentist about sleep dentistry. It can help patients get through many types of dental work, such as root canals, tooth extractions, dental implants, surgery of gums, and more.
- 1: Relaxed Visit: If you undergo any level of sedation, you will be able to take on treatment with much more relaxation. The sedation helps to calm your nerves. If you are extremely anxious then you can opt for a higher level of sedation.
- 2: Regular Visits: The main reason scared patients do not visit is because of this phobia of being under the dental lights with someone working on their mouths. Sleep dentistry helps to calm the person during their visit, so they feel less anxiety about coming in for regular visits.
- 3: Better Treatment: When a patient is more relaxed, the doctor can then provide proper treatment. A tense or anxious patient tends to grip down on equipment, and be generally be fearful. The sedation helps the patient to relax their mouths, and hence receive better treatment.
- 4: Pain Free Dental Care: The pain is what most people are afraid of, and therefore our doctor at ProSmiles can ease this pain through sedation therapy.
- 5: Affordable: Although you are receiving an extra step in treatment, sleep dentistry typically does not charge that much.
If you’re worried about upcoming dental work, ask our dentist at ProSmiles about sleep dentistry. You might feel better about getting into the dental chair, and you won’t have to worry about persistent dental issues that cause you pain and anxiety.