Sedation Dentistry: A Solution for Dental Anxiety with Your Dentist
Sedation dentistry is a solution for individuals who experience dental anxiety or fear when visiting the dentist. It involves the use of medication to help patients relax during their dental procedures. At our Top Rated Chapel Hill Dentistry practice, we strive to provide the highest quality of care and professionalism to our patients.
If you struggle with dental anxiety, sedation dentistry may be an option worth considering to make your dental visits more comfortable and stress-free.
What is Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety, also known as dental phobia, is a common fear that many people experience when visiting the dentist. It can range from mild to severe and can be caused by a variety of factors, including past negative dental experiences, the fear of pain, or the feeling of being out of control during the procedure.
For some individuals, dental anxiety can be so severe that they avoid going to the dentist altogether, which can lead to more serious dental issues down the road. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), over 30% of Americans avoid the dentist due to anxiety or fear.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to help patients relax during their dental procedures. It is typically administered through a pill or intravenous (IV) injection, and it works to reduce anxiety and discomfort during the procedure. There are different levels of sedation, ranging from minimal to deep, and the type of sedation used will depend on the specific procedure being performed and the patient’s level of anxiety.
Minimal sedation, also known as “conscious sedation,” allows patients to remain awake and able to respond to verbal commands during the procedure. Moderate sedation, also known as “conscious sedation,” allows patients to be more relaxed and may cause some memory loss of the procedure. Deep sedation, also known as “general anesthesia,” causes patients to be unconscious during the procedure.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
There are several benefits to using sedation dentistry, including:
- Reduced anxiety: The main benefit of sedation dentistry is that it helps patients relax and feel more comfortable during their dental procedures. This can be especially helpful for individuals with severe dental anxiety who may otherwise avoid going to the dentist altogether.
- Pain management: Sedation can also help to manage pain during the procedure, as it can help to reduce sensitivity and discomfort.
- Faster procedures: With sedation, patients are more relaxed and able to tolerate longer procedures. This can often result in multiple procedures being completed in a single visit, saving time and multiple trips to the dentist.
- Improved oral health: By eliminating dental anxiety, patients are more likely to visit the dentist regularly, which can lead to better overall oral health.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
There are several types of sedation dentistry, including:
- Oral sedation: Oral sedation involves the use of a pill, typically a benzodiazepine, which is taken about an hour before the procedure. The medication helps to relax the patient and may cause drowsiness.
- IV sedation: IV sedation involves the use of medication administered through a vein. It allows the dentist to adjust the level of sedation throughout the procedure as needed.
- Inhalation sedation: Inhalation sedation, also known as “laughing gas,” involves the use of nitrous oxide gas, which is inhaled through a mask. The gas helps to relax the patient and may cause a feeling of euphoria.
- General anesthesia: General anesthesia is administered through an IV and causes the patient to be unconscious during the procedure. It is typically used for more complex procedures or for patients with severe dental anxiety.