The fear of going to the dentist can cause some people to go years without a teeth cleaning or a checkup. Their reasons could range from past traumas at the dentist to a fear of needles to difficulty with their teeth and gums becoming numb. If you find yourself avoiding the dentist, you may want to consider sedation dentistry.
Sedation dentistry has proven successful for those who suffer from anxiety regarding dental visits. The process allows patients a comfortable and worry-free experience, while continuing to keep their teeth and gums in optimal health.
What is sedation dentistry?
Though one often receives sedation for medical procedures, it took years before dental sedation was globally accepted and practiced. The reason being was that many felt dental work simply was not uncomfortable enough to justify actual sedation. Thankfully, this attitude has changed.
For a dentist to perform sedation, they have to receive additional training and accreditation. The form of sedation you receive will vary, depending upon the dental procedure you’re receiving or the level of anxiety you have.
The three most common forms of sedation by dentists are:
Oral sedation is usually reserved for those who suffer from anxiety from going to the dentist or receiving a shot. Typically a dentist will give you two pills, one to take the night before your appointment, the other an hour before your dental appointment.
2. Nitrous oxide in the form of an inhalant:
Also known as “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide is inhaled via a mask, with the flow level adjusted by the dentist until the patient is comfortable. Once the procedure is complete, the patient is given oxygen to bring them out of the sedation. The benefit of this type of sedation is that a patient will gain full alertness immediately following the procedure.
What You Can Expect
Whatever sedation method you and Dr. Etheredge choose, you’ll be conscious throughout the procedure.
Patients often describe the oral and nitrous oxide treatments as feeling as though they’ve had a few glasses of wine, and that they’re floating. With conscious sedation, it’s likely you’ll feel as though you’ve slept through the entire procedure. During the duration of your sedation, you’ll be closely monitored for your vital signs and comfort level.
Please note that any patient undergoing any type of sedation must have someone bring them to and pick them up from our office.
With these advances in dentistry, going to the dentist no longer has to be an uncomfortable situation. If you are in the Austin area, and are interested in working with a dentist who practices sedation dentistry, be sure to contact us today.