Studies estimate that somewhere between 9% to 15% of Americans avoid scheduling dental appointments out of fear. These individuals would rather deal with painful, infected, discolored, and damaged teeth than set foot in a dental office. Or, if they do finally concede to making an appointment, they spend the days prior dreading it.
Sedation dentistry uses medication to allow those with dental anxiety to have a more relaxing experience. This treatment can help those patients who might otherwise not receive dental care because of dental anxiety or dental phobia. Sedation dentistry — sometimes referred to as “relaxation” or “anxiety-free” dentistry — is now offered by thousands of dentists, including Dr. Natasha Radosavljevic — Dr. Rados, for short — of Clearwater, FL.
Is Sedation Dentistry Right For You?
Sedation dentistry might be a way for you to help yourself overcome your fear of the dentist and dental work if you find yourself avoiding dental visits due to anxiety. Often times, that anxiety can be attributed to:
- Negative past experiences
- Fear of pain or gagging/choking
- Extreme discomfort with the sounds and smells of dental office
- Not wanting to feel numb
- The feeling of losing control
Sedation dentistry may also be appropriate for people who:
- Aren’t able to sit still in a dentist chair
- Need a large amount of dental work completed
- Have a low pain threshold
Types of Sedation Dentistry
Nitrous oxide — often referred to as “laughing gas” — is an effective sedative gas that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a mask that is fitted over your nose. It does not put you to sleep or usually even make you laugh, despite the nickname. You will still be capable of carrying on a conversation with the dentist, but it will help you feel more relaxed. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly once the mask has been removed so you should be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
Oral sedation relaxes you and reduces your ability to feel pain. You will be aware of your surroundings and can carry on a conversation, but you’ll be less responsive to what is happening, more relaxed. You may feel drowsy and might even fall asleep during the procedure.
The medication that is used most often for oral sedation is Halcion, which is a member of the same drug family as Valium, and it’s usually taken about an hour before the procedure. You will need a friend or family member to drive you home if you have oral sedation administered.
IV sedation is administered intravenously so it works much more quickly. This method allows the dentist to continuously adjust the level of sedation as needed, allowing you to be either almost or completely “out” during your procedure. Not all dentists offer IV sedation, so be sure to contact your dentist prior to the procedure if you feel you need IV sedation.
Sedation Dentistry with Dr. Rados
We strive to make sure all of our patients feel comfortable at Dr. Rados’s office in Clearwater, FL. Our relaxing atmosphere combined with our friendly staff, have helped hundreds of patients feel more comfortable at the dentist’s office. But if you’re still worried, sedation dentistry might be what you need! Contact our office online or call us at 727.360.4302 for more details and to schedule your appointment.
Posted in: Dental Fear