PennWell Dental Community
How sedation dentistry can help with dental anxiety
When you think of sedation dentistry,you may imagine a big man in a mask looming above you and holding a ridiculously large needle. Well, good news: this simply isn’t how it is! In fact, sedation dentistry actually helps alleviate the anxiety many people feel in the dentist’s chair. Here are some of the different forms of sedation available and how they can relieve you of any anxiety you’re feeling before your dental procedure.
Otherwise known as laughing gas, this form of sedation is known to ease anxiety (as the name implies!).The amount of nitrous oxide sedation you receive can be regulated, and laughing gas can also be used along with other forms of sedation. Basically, you could either receive just enough to become calm enough to get things done, or you can receive a larger does that leaves you practically tranquilized. Another perk: you’ll be able to drive yourself to and from the appointment since nitrous oxide wears off quickly. Receiving dental treatment anxiety-free and getting to drive yourself to get ice cream afterward? Win-win!
Whether you take them as a pill or in liquid form, oral sedatives are great for moderate levels of anxiety. If you’re getting restless or jittery before your appointment, these can be given to you before the procedure to help you stay calm. That way, going in and coming out of the dentist appointment will be a calm and quick process. The only downside is that you can’t drive yourself to get ice cream afterward because you’ll be a bit drowsy. Be prepared to treat mom to dinner for dealing with your loopy self.
If you’re the type of person who’d rather drive a rusty nail in your kneecap than go through a dental procedure, you might want to fire up the big guns. That’s right, I’m talking about good old general anesthesia! If you choose this route, you’re not going to feel a thing, and you’ll either be barely conscious or completely unconscious. You’re going to wake up feeling like Sleeping Beauty being kissed awake by a handsome prince in a doctor’s mask. Now a slight turn-off for people afraid of needles might be that it is an IV, but to receive dental treatment pain- and anxiety-free, plus a nap as a bonus, just might be worth feeling a pinch for a second.
Dental anxiety isn’t something you’re born with. A person who’s had a traumatizing or terrible experience at a dentist appointment develops the fear that they will be treated that way again. However, a past bad experience should not keep you from receiving the dental care you need and deserve. Putting off important dental procedures is never a good idea, but with sedation dentistry you don’t have to worry about being uncomfortable. Talk to your sedation dentist about options available to you, and get the brilliant smile you’ve been waiting for!