Many patients have at least some level of fear about getting in the dentist’s chair, so there’s no need to be ashamed if you’re one of them. Sometimes this fear is rooted in painful experiences from past appointments, when dentists were limited in their options for ensuring patient comfort.
If your anxiety is so severe that it keeps you out of the dentist’s office, though, you may be jeopardizing your health. Fortunately, there are choices for everyone from a slightly skittish patient to a totally terrified one. Sedation treatments can make your visit to the dentist a comfortable one.
A sedation dentist specializes in treating such anxious patients, using medication to put those patients at ease during the visit.
With this technique, a sedation dentist uses anti-anxiety medications to help patients achieve a state of deep relaxation. Although sedation dentistry is sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” that’s a misnomer. Patients actually remain awake and able to cooperate with the dentist even while under sedation.
In this way, sedation is safer than the primary alternative of general anesthesia, which renders patients unconscious.
The sedative medications can be delivered using a variety of methods. Intravenous sedation takes effect practically instantaneously, and patients are monitored throughout the process
Nitrous oxide, a gas that is inhaled, is another alternative. Patients relax quickly using this method, too.
Sedatives are now available in pill form, as well, which appeals to patients who prefer to take their medications in a more conventional manner.
Patients may have more of a delay in experiencing the benefits of orally administered sedatives, though. If you choose this option, it’s important to plan accordingly to ensure that the sedative takes effect before your treatment begins.
In addition to preparing for the sedation method that will be used, it’s important to plan for the after effects, too. Patients recover from sedation more quickly than from general anesthesia, but they should still arrange to have a responsible adult escort them home after the appointment.
Don’t let your fear prevent you from getting dental care any longer. Oral health is essential to overall health, so contact our Barrie office and explore sedation dentistry as a vehicle for keeping your mouth in good shape.