Dental anxiety is a common problem that can cause people to avoid going to the dentist, sometimes for long periods—even years at a time. If you suffer from dental anxiety, sedation dentistry can help you relax while you’re at the appointment so you can get caught up with any neglected dental work.
How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?
Sedation dentistry uses sedatives to help reduce your anxiety and discomfort during dental treatment, restorations, oral surgery, or endodontic treatment such as root canal procedures. Many of these procedures are performed under local anesthetic, which eliminates any discomfort. The addition of sedation provides additional comfort as well as helping you relax completely.
Sedation does not cause unconsciousness. You are able to ask questions, and the oral surgeon can give you instructions during your procedure. Sedation makes you feel as if you are in a dreamlike state, where time moves more quickly and you are less focused on your surroundings. This means your dentist can perform several procedures at a time. This is often necessary with dental anxiety patients, since they tend to put off dental work as long as possible.
Who Needs Sedation Dentistry?
Many people are not entirely comfortable with just local anesthetic, or experience intense anxiety whenever they have to go to the dentist. Other people do not respond well to local anesthetic. Local anesthetics typically include epinephrine, which is an artificial form of adrenaline. This can trigger anxiety, and without the epinephrine, the anesthetic is not as effective. For these people, local anesthetic accompanied by sedation can greatly reduce the discomfort of dental restorations, minor oral surgery, and in-office extractions.
Sedation is often used in conjunction with major oral surgery and complex restorations. Impacted extractions are often performed under general anesthetic. In some cases, patients with a very sensitive gag reflex receive sedation for routine cleaning and X-rays. If you feel sedation would be helpful to you for any reason, discuss the options with your dentist or oral surgeon.
Don’t put off your oral surgery appointment! Contact us at NOVA OMS today!