For countless people around the world, that six-month appointment with the dentist is a calendar event marked by great trepidation, anxiety and (in rare cases) bed-wetting. So pervasive is a fear of the dentist that it actually has a name: odontophobia. So, whether you feel mildly stressed or wildly panicked around the time for your dentist appointment, know that (1) you are not alone and (2) there is something that can be done about it! Sedation dentistry is available for all patients who would prefer spend their appointment relaxed and completely anxiety free.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry involves the gentle administration of medications that affect the central nervous system, initiating a deep sense of relaxation. While you aren’t put to sleep, like general anesthesia does, you will feel sleepy and, as some patients describe it, like you are lying on a fuzzy bed of cotton wool. The great thing about sedation dentistry and the effects it achieves is:
• You feel absolutely no anxiety or stress, which benefits both you and the dentist enormously,
• It allows the dentist to complete procedures from beginning to end without having to break it down into smaller, more manageable sessions.
• Sedation dentistry is completely safe and easily tolerated by the body, so you don’t need to worry about a ‘hang-over’ or any other nasty side-effects.
The Different kinds of Sedation Dentistry
There are many different methods that can be used by the dentist it to administer the sedative medication. Oral sedatives come in a pill form and can be taken prior to your appointment with a glass of water. Intravenous sedation is administered directly into the bloodstream and carefully controlled by your dentist. And Nitrous Oxide sedation – more commonly referred to as ‘laughing gas’ – is breathed in using an oxygen mask. Whichever the method preferred by you, or your dentist, the results are the same; total and deep relaxation.
Sedation Dentistry: An Important Note
There is a reason that drunk driving is illegal. Impaired vision, concentration and reflexes mean that you pose a risk not only to yourself, but to other innocent drivers on the road. The same applies to sedation dentistry. Because the sedative medication affects your central nervous system, you will feel sluggish and as if in a dream-state. As such, you will in no way be fit to drive, even once the effects of the medication have mostly worn off. For this reason, it is always best to arrange with a friend or family member to pick you up from the dentist once your appointment is over.
So, thanks to sedation dentistry, that element of anxiety and stress can be removed from those bi-annual visits with the dentist. Now, there really is no need for you to avoid receiving the oral health and hygiene care you need to keep your teeth and gums in excellent and beautiful condition!