Sedation dentistry is an excellent option for patients with anxiety or fear. Approximately 30 to 40 million people in the United States avoid dental visits due to fear or anxiety. This can range from a slight nervousness around needles to a debilitating anxiety or fear of the dentist and dental procedure. Sedation offers a safe and effective way to manage this anxiety, and allows these patients to achieve good oral health and the smile they desire.

There are a variety of methods to provide anti-anxiety sedation, and the type used will be dependent upon the individual patient’s needs. One of the most commonly used methods is nitrous oxide or “laughing gas.” This is inhaled through a mask that fits over the nose during treatment and works immediately to make the patient feel relaxed. It is easy to control and will wear off quickly. Another method is a pill or liquid that is taken orally, called enteral sedation. It is usually a stronger and longer-lasting form of sedation than nitrous oxide, so the patient will need someone to drive them to and from their appointment.

Aside from reducing anxiety, sedation can help reduce pain during the procedure. However, it is important to understand that sedation will not eliminate all pain, as most dental procedures still require the use of local anesthesia. A patient will still need to be numb at the site where the dentist will be performing the work.

Titensor Dental will evaluate the patient and determine what type of sedation is best for them, depending on their medical history and level of anxiety. The type of sedation will also depend on the procedure being performed and the patient’s tolerance level to medication. For example, if a patient is undergoing a root canal or dental implant placement, the dentist will need to be able to keep the patient still and prevent them from moving too much, which could cause complications during treatment.

The benefits of sedation dentistry are many, and include the ability to overcome anxiety and have a positive experience at the dentist, pain management, and memory retention. The most important benefit, though, is that sedation helps the patient stay calm and relaxed throughout the entire appointment.

This in turn allows the dentist to perform more work during the visit, which is a great benefit for those who have anxiety about having lengthy or complex procedures done at the dentist.

There are several benefits to sedation dentistry for patients of all ages, including adults and seniors. Sedation can be administered in a number of ways, from a pill or liquid to intravenous sedation. The type of sedation will depend on the patient’s needs, and the type will differ from office to office, as not all offices are licensed to administer sedatives or anesthesia. The lighter options like nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation are available in most dental offices, while deeper forms such as IV sedation or general anesthesia are only offered in hospitals and oral surgery clinics.

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