Do you have anxiety and nervousness when it comes to dental settings? Perhaps you have a phobia related to the sounds or sensations you experience during treatment. Anxiety and anxiety disorders are a common mental health problem in the United States and phobia-based anxiety (including dental phobia) makes up a significant portion of the population that suffers with anxiety.
One way that our dentist can help you overcome your anxiety is with sedation dentistry. This is a service that involves the use of calming techniques, nitrous oxide, and sometimes medication to help mitigate the uncomfortable effects of anxiousness. Sedation dentistry is helpful for patients with anxiety and uneasiness in clinical or dental settings. It is also useful for those who have trouble staying still during longer treatments or those receiving procedures that are more invasive.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry involves providing medications that can calm the nervous system so that anxiousness dissipates. There are a few different types of sedation. The first and mildest form is the administration of nitrous oxide – a gas that is delivered through a soft nasal mask. Nitrous oxide has been used in medicine and dentistry for over 100 years. This gas produces warm, euphoric feelings that help reduce discomfort and anxiety. The effects of nitrous oxide come on as the gas is breathed in and its effects wear off when the mask is removed and the gas is no longer administered.
Another type of sedation utilizes prescription medication taken in oral form to reduce fear and anxiousness. These medications normally come from the benzodiazepine class of drugs, which are formulated specifically to counter the chemical reactions that produce intense fear and nervousness.
These medications do induce feelings of grogginess so some people might fall asleep/have limited memory of treatment. On top of causing grogginess, oral tablets for sedation dentistry do affect motor function so anyone receiving this type of sedation must arrange for transportation to and from our office with a friend or family member.
Lastly, those receiving more invasive procedures might receive their sedating medication through an IV feed.
For more information on sedation dentistry or to schedule a visit, call our team at Fresh Dental today.