It’s totally normal to feel anxious when you need to see the dentist. In fact, anxiety in the dentist’s chair is so common that experts have come up with a solution that may be just what you need to feel more at ease, and it’s referred to as sedation dentistry.
Below is some information on what sedation dentistry is and who it’s designed for. Perhaps you could benefit from it too!
Sedation dentistry is also known as “sleep dentistry” because patients are given medications that are designed to put them into a deep state of relaxation. Although patients typically won’t be totally asleep (unless they’re given general anesthesia) and they’ll be able to respond to commands and questions from the dentist, they probably won’t remember the experience.
Your level of sedation is also an option, so you and your dentist can decide which would be best for you. Minimal sedation will keep you awake but you will feel relaxed, while moderate sedation might cause you to slur your words and forget the majority of what happened in the dental chair. Deep sedation means you would be slightly conscious, while general anesthesia would put you into a totally unconscious state.
It’s important to note that sedation doesn’t negate the need for a local anesthetic that will numb the area of your mouth that the dentist will be working on. Those who have a phobia of needles and shots, however, can rest assured that, under sedation, they likely won’t even remember getting the shots in the first place. Phew!
Your dentist has a few tools available to help you relax during your procedure:
Ask yourself these questions to help determine if sedation dentistry would be a good option for you:
Sedation dentistry may come with risks that experts recommend discussing with your dentist. They also recommend only opting for sedation from a dentist who has plenty of experience in this area—especially if you’re going to receive oral sedatives, as your dentist will need to know how much to give you while avoiding an overdose.
A trip to the dentist isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. If you get super nervous about dental cleanings, checkups, and treatments, talk to your dentist to find out if he or she provides sedation dentistry. It could be just what you need to overcome your fear and receive the care that your teeth and gums need to stay healthy.