For most people, going to the dentist is not their favorite thing to do, but for an estimated 30% of adults, visiting the dentist is quite scary. The fear can range from mild nervousness, to full-blown panic attacks. Some patients refuse to see a dentist for as long as multiple decades, all due to their fear. It is only when they are wracked with terrible pain that they will run to the dentist for help.
Now with different forms of sedation for their patients, dentists can finally relieve many of the fears patients have.
For some patients, all that is needed is a small form of calming to allow the dentist to perform the dental work. Nitrous oxide is very good for this calming effect. It puts a person in an almost twilight sleep, which is somewhat like someone taking a 10 milligram Valium.
Another choice the dentist may choose is to prescribe a 10 mg. Valium one hour before the scheduled appointment. This works very well for many of the patients. Nitrous oxide can also be added to the effects of the Valium once the patient is in the treatment room.
Other forms of anxiety medication may be prescribed one hour before the appointment, and then more of the medication can be taken at the dentist office if the patient is still too nervous.
Sedation dentistry is completely different from these other methods. With sedation dentistry, the patient is given a pill, which will put the person in a twilight sleep, yet they are still awake.
Once the treatment is completed, the patient does not remember the experience in the treatment room. This is a very safe and effective means of treatment for patients who have phobias about visiting a dentist. Full IV sedation is normally reserved for oral surgeons or periodontitis, who surgically remove teeth, perform root canals and dental implants for their patients.
Another aspect of sedation dentistry is the dentist can perform more work than they normally would if the patient weren’t awake.
There may be many reasons that can cause patients to have anxiety over a dental appointment. Sometimes it is the smell of the office, the sound of the drills, fear of pain, fear of shots, or just fear of not being in control. With the advancements in dentistry today, patients should no longer fear visiting a dentist.