Do you avoid dental appointments out of a fear of discomfort? Some level of dental phobia is common among Americans. In fact, as many as three-quarters of us have some level of anxiety about visiting the dentist. It’s even more common in patients who are middle-aged and older, who may have experienced their first encounters with dentists using techniques and instruments that did not provide much comfort.
Working with a sedation dentist can help you overcome any misgivings that keep you from accessing dental care. [pullquote]Working with a sedation dentist can help you overcome any misgivings that keep you from accessing dental care.[/pullquote]
A sedation dentist specializes in patient comfort, using medications and specialized techniques to make the appointment as pleasant an experience as possible.
The drugs administered by a sedation dentist allow patients to achieve a state of deep relaxation. The medications are generally from the class of anti-anxiety drugs (benzodiazapines) that includes common prescriptions like Valium and Ativan.
Patients can choose how to take the sedatives, as most can be taken orally or intravenously. Sedatives in pill form must be taken far enough in advance of the appointment to achieve the desired effect.
Although it feels like sleeping, you actually remain conscious while under sedation. This aspect of sedation is beneficial because it allows you to continue to respond to the dentist’s commands. Additionally, sedation does not require artificial airway maintenance, as general anesthesia does. This is why sedation is generally considered to be safer than general anesthesia.
Arrange to have a responsible adult escort you home if you do opt for sedation, as the medication’s effects will not wear off fully by the time your appointment is over. Nonetheless, these sedatives do wear off more quickly than the effects of general anesthesia.
If you’ve been avoiding the dentist out of fear of discomfort, consider sedation as an alternative to help you maintain your oral health. Keep in mind that a healthy mouth is the gateway to a healthy body, so getting routine dental care with our experienced and caring team is an important component of your efforts to improve your overall well-being.