If you’re one of the many people who have experienced a phobia of the dental office at some point in your life, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from anxiety related to dental work and may even put off their oral health care altogether. Practices make an effort to combat this fear with sedation options, which can relax patients and make the experience more comfortable.
There are multiple sedation options available, including common oral sedation methods such as nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. This option is administered via a mask and the effects wear off quickly once the mask is removed upon completion of the procedure. Intravenous sedation and general anesthesia are other options that can be beneficial in certain situations. IV sedation is the deepest form available in most dental offices and is best for severe anxiety or long procedures.
Anxiety can manifest itself in a multitude of ways, depending on the patient. Nervous patients can range from a few pre-appointment jitters to full-on panic attacks that keep them from being able to participate in the procedure altogether. In these cases, sedation can be the difference between a patient receiving the care they need versus avoiding it and allowing their oral health to deteriorate.
Nobody enjoys being in pain, regardless of whether they generally have anxiety over the dentist or not. Procedures that have the potential to cause pain may result in sedation being put onto the table to provide a comfortable experience for the patient. The brain is unable to register any pain while under the influence of sedatives or anesthesia.
When a patient is under the influence of sedatives, dentists can often work with fewer disruptions. Patients aren’t moving around or talking, which allows the physician to work efficiently and safely. This reduces the possibility of complications and can get a patient in and out of the chair and back to their life in less time. Patients with special needs may need extra help sitting still in the dental chair and sedation options ensure that they’re still able to receive cleanings and any recommended treatment.
When a dentist has to go further back into a patient’s oral cavity, this can trigger the gag reflex. This natural reflex can make it difficult to complete a procedure and in serious cases, can actually cause damage to the patient’s throat and mouth. Sedation may be used to ease the reflex and relax the patient, allowing the dentist to work smoothly.
If you’ve been avoiding dental work due to anxiety or fear of pain, My Rivertown Dentist in Madison, IN provides sedation options to ensure that everybody can visit the dentist without fear. Dr. Ashley Lee is compassionate towards patients who may experience this common phobia and is available to discuss options to ease a patient’s concerns.