Millions of people benefit from sedation dentistry which is the practice by which dentists use medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. Having dental work performed is necessary for oral health, but it can be difficult to overcome the nervous energy that creeps in knowing that a dental appointment is drawing near. Patients who get anxious over dental procedures can also benefit from preparation and relaxation techniques.
Nitrous oxide, sometimes called laughing gas, is a safe and effective sedative which is used to make people more comfortable during dental procedures. It is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask. The calming effects are felt almost immediately but do not put patients to sleep. They remain awake and aware while still able to respond to the dentist’s instructions. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly once the mask is removed so patients can resume normal activities immediately.
Oral conscious sedation is the process by which the dentist prescribes the patient a medication to ingest orally before the appointment. The medication settles nerves while creating a safe and relaxed experience. It is another effective way of calming anxious patients during a dental procedure. The patient remains awake and alert but in a very relaxed state. Since the medication is ingested, it does take a little longer to wear off.
Managing nervousness can be a challenge, but there are some techniques that can help make dental visits manageable for anxious patients. One effective approach is to practice something called square breathing. Deliberately slowing the breathing process makes it harder for the body to respond to nervous energy.
Square breathing is done in counts of four. Breathe in slowly over a count of four and then pause for a count of four. Breathe out slowly for a count of four and then pause. Repeat this process four times while relaxing your muscles. You will feel your body slowly start to relax as you calm down.
Sedation dentistry provides a relaxing and anxiety-free dental experience. If the prospect of dental work makes you nervous, give us a call at Fresh Dental today. Let us show you how easy and worry-free dental appointment can be.