Even though dentists have several methods for helping patients experience relatively pain-free oral healthcare, millions of people still harbor serious anxiety about dental visits. If you are among the many Americans that fear dental visits, you should talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry to help reduce your apprehension and help you relax during your appointments. Many dentists undergo specialized training in sedation dentistry and use one of the following types of sedative techniques during your visit.
If you are undergoing a routine dental exam, generally a dentist will use inhaled minimal sedation, more popularly known as laughing gas. However, if you suffer from dental anxiety a mild sedative may not be enough to help you relax.
Oral sedation taken via a pill can produce a moderate amount of sedation. You may become drowsy and groggy or even fall asleep during dental work. The dentist may also prescribe an anti-anxiety pill for you to take the night before an appointment.
If you need oral sedation, make sure to arrange to have someone drop you off and pick you up from the dentist because it will not be safe for you to drive with the sedative in your system.
If you are comfortable with needles and need moderation sedation, a dentist may use IV sedation. Dentists who administer sedatives via IV must undergo lengthy training. However, the technique enables them to control the flow and level of sedation into your body. You will be able to feel the effects of IV sedation almost immediately.
During your dental procedure, the dentist will monitor your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure as well.
As with oral sedation, you will need to arrange transportation after your appointment because you will not be fit to operate a vehicle after IV sedation.
If you need to undergo extensive oral care such as multiple extractions or complicated oral surgery, the dentist or specialist may use general anesthesia. This type of sedation makes you nearly or completely unconscious. It is generally administered by an oral surgeon with extensive training or a dental anesthesiologist.
During general anesthesia you will not feel a thing or even remember the dental procedure, removing any chance of being anxious or fearful as a dentist works on your mouth.
Regardless of which type of sedation dentistry you undergo, you should experience a more pleasant experience and benefit from better control of your gag reflex, increased physical comfort and less involuntary resistance when the dentist is working on your mouth. For more information, check out dentists such as Mill Creek Family Dental.