Oral sedation dentistry has been used in the United States for decades. This method of relaxing and calming a patient before or during a dental appointment has become increasingly popular in the past few years. Sedation dentistry is actually a very specific medical procedure involving the administering of sedatives through an intravenous route, usually to ease a patient’s anxiety about the upcoming dental procedure. These sedatives are used primarily to calm the patient, reducing their reaction to pain and discomfort, and allow the doctor to perform dental procedures with minimal distraction from the dental patient. Oral sedation dentistry has grown increasingly popular over the past five years because sedatives are much more easily tolerated by the body than they were a few years ago. Sedatives have also become more widely available through the use of online anesthesia delivery services.
Dental anxiety is a leading cause of missed dental appointments and extended dental treatment due to patients’ inability to adequately manage their pain or discomfort while waiting for the dentist. Patients who exhibit symptoms of dental anxiety including anxiety, tension, frustration, feelings of dread, restlessness, nervousness, blushing, sweating, twitching, dry mouth, and difficulty concentrating are often unable to schedule regular dental visits or take advantage of dental treatments that might prevent further dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry provides patients with an affordable and convenient way to deal with dental anxiety. This procedure allows patients to enjoy long delays in getting dental work completed and creates a level of comfort and confidence so that patients can more readily accept dental procedures that require high levels of dental work such as root canals, dental implants, tooth whitening, dental surgery, and cosmetic dental work.
Many people experience fear and anxiety when they are required to take a breath test, give a sample of their blood or saliva, or answer questions during a routine dental visit. While taking a breath test is usually an innocent procedure, people who are severely fearful experience symptoms of dental anxiety including shaking, dry mouth, increased heart rate, headaches, and difficulty swallowing. Taking a sample of your blood, while it may seem unnecessary, will provide your dentist with information about any underlying medical conditions that could be contributing to your symptoms. This will allow your dentist to determine the best treatment plan for your particular case. Similarly, when you answer a dental questionnaire by blushing or expressing anxiety, your dentist will be able to accurately diagnose and treat your condition.
Another common reason that many people choose to have sedation dentistry involves the benefits of the procedure over other forms of dental treatment. Sedation dentistry can offer quick results with little recovery time, which makes it a popular option for office visits. Moreover, most patients are able to experience fast comfort because they are administered by a small amount of nitrous oxide, which relaxes the patient’s jaw and throat muscles. Nitrous oxide also reduces the intensity of the pain from dental procedures.
In addition to enjoying fast sedation and relief from dental anxiety, patients who have undergone this procedure also benefit from the fact that they avoid potential tooth damage due to the effects of nitrous oxide. For example, if you are scheduled for an IV sedation dentistry procedure, you will not be required to remove the offending item from your mouth during the appointment. This means that you do not have to worry about the item in your mouth during the procedure, which can be a concern for those who typically remove items from their mouths before they go to sleep. If you would like to avoid the possibility of tooth damage, your dentist may recommend that you wear a dental guard during your procedure.
For those who exhibit chronic fear of dentists and dental services, sedation dentistry offers a way to reduce the level of anxiety that you feel on a regular basis. Sedation dentists can effectively relax the entire body so that you are able to visit the dentist without the fear that your body may reject the dental treatment that your dentist is prescribing. During your appointment, your dentist will give you specific instructions on how to relax your entire body so that your mind is not focused on anything other than your dental treatment. This will allow you to focus your mind on the task at hand, which will result in better dental care.