Does the mere thought of visiting the dentist make you tense up and send your heart racing? You’re not alone. About 36% of the population has some anxiety about getting into the dentist’s chair.
While it’s understandable that you have fear, it’s not good if it keeps you from getting the oral care you need. Whether you avoid routine cleanings or just decide not to get a filling because of dental anxiety, these decisions can have very real effects on your oral health. You may end up with plaque buildup, gum disease, tooth decay, and oral pain.
At Advanced Care Dentistry, the caring team wants to help you get the dental services you need to have a glistening smile. Sedation dentistry offers a way to ease your fears and get you the cleanings and treatments you need to have healthy teeth and gums for the long term.
All about sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry isn’t an all-or-nothing venture. You can choose the level of awareness you maintain during your treatment. Rest assured that all types of sedation dentistry are completely safe and Dr. Marxen has 20 years of experience in administering dental sedatives.
You might choose simple nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. This form has immediate effects in keeping you calm and relaxed during your procedure. The effects wear off almost immediately once the gas is turned off, meaning you can drive yourself home after your appointment.
Oral conscious sedation takes the edge off your anxiety. It’s delivered in the form of a pill that you take an hour or so before you come to our office. It makes you feel relaxed, but doesn’t cause you to actually lose consciousness. Because the oral pill is a controlled substance like Valium® or Ativan® and the effects linger for several hours, you’ll need transportation to and from your appointment.
Intravenous moderate conscious sedation is another option. This involves delivering a sedative directly into your veins, which puts you in a twilight state. You can respond to questions, but are somewhat disassociated from your surroundings. You won’t remember your appointment as it will feel like you’re asleep.
Ask yourself if it’s right for you
Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if sedation dentistry is for you:
- Are you putting off dental cleanings due to anxiety?
- Do you know you need dental work, but are delaying treatment because of fear?
- Have you had a traumatic experience involving a dentist in the past?
- Do you have a fear of needles?
- Do you have a strong gag reflex?
- Do you have trouble sitting still for long periods of time?
Sedation dentistry may also be a good choice if you have a complex treatment that may take several hours. It’s also recommended if you need minor oral surgery, like removal of impacted wisdom teeth.
Dental anxiety can significantly affect your life and put you at an increased risk of tooth decay, poor oral health, and a diminished quality of life. Don’t let your fears keep you from getting the dental care you need.
Call Advanced Care Dentistry or reach out via this website to learn more about sedation dentistry and how it can help you relax enough to get the preventive care, cleanings, and treatments you need to have a healthy, beautiful smile.