Dental anxiety refers to the stress or fear in a dental setting. Feeling fear or anxiety about visiting the dentist can result in many oral health complications and diseases. It can be associated with some specific triggers such as drills, needles, pain, and more. If it keeps someone from visiting the dentist, then depending upon the level of irrational fear, it can be called dental phobia.
Dental disease is mostly caused by lifestyle choices, and it may be prevented. Avoiding dental visits not only increases your chance of needing more complex procedures when you do eventually visit, but it also deprives you of the opportunity to learn how to better care for your teeth.
Sedation Dentistry Can Reduce Your Dental Anxiety
Sedation dentistry involves sedative drug administration to help people manage their fears before dental procedures. According to NCBI, it’s a method to deal with dental phobia. Patients with dental phobia will need to follow advanced techniques such as conscious sedation, medications for relief, laughing gas or relative analgesia, or even general anesthesia. You can get all these treatments in Bellevue azalea dentistry. The following are the main types of conscious sedation.
Oral Sedation is premedication and induced through the oral route. The patient is provided with this type right before the invasive or surgical procedure. It needs less cooperation between the patient and dentist because they put the patient to sleep, keep him/her relaxed, and allow the dentist to complete the operation seamlessly.
Anxiolysis is induced through inhalation. It consists of nitrous oxide, and it only takes about 30 seconds to affect. According to an NCBI study, a combination of anxiolysis and local anesthesia can be used to reduce the feeling of fear and pain. The effects of anxiolysis wear off as soon as the patient begins to breathe 100 percent oxygen.
Intravenous Sedation is induced through an injection. It’s also known as IV sedation, which makes most patients completely unaware and is mostly used during surgeries. Most patients don’t remember anything about the oral procedure because of the heavy effects of this sedation. It’s important to call out your work before your IV sedation appointment and rest for at least 24 hours.
How can I ease my fears about dental care without medication?
Our expert dentist Dr. Uparika Sharma at Bellevue, WA, uses multiple techniques to help people manage their dental anxiety. You can schedule your appointment on a call with the dentist anytime you want and visit us to review your condition. You’ll need to explain your dental condition openly. It’ll allow our dentists to tailor a comprehensive treatment plan to deal with your dental anxiety. Some common coping methods that can help the patient are listed below.
- Meditation, Deep Breathing
- progressive muscle relaxation
- Guided Imagery
Will I be asleep when sedated?
Different sedative types have different effects, and you may fall asleep depending upon the conscious sedation used. It also depends upon the level of sedation. Moreover, it’s also important to note that every person is unique, and a sedative may work a little differently on different people. You might be able to respond to people and verbal cues, but you won’t remember much about it. Our dentists determine the type of sedation most suitable for each individual based on:
- The outpatient’s preference
- The type of treatment
- The outpatient’s medical history
Can everyone use sedation dentistry?
Professionals and experts recommend not to use sedation dentistry for everyone. It’s most appropriate for people with:
- Real fear
- Can’t sit still in the chair
- low pain threshold
- bad gag reflex
- very sensitive teeth
Can children benefit from sedation dentistry?
Yes, children can benefit from this technique. In fact, children who refuse to cooperate or have a fear of going to the dentist are given sedation.
An NCBI study conducted on 52 children found no adverse effects of this technique during the process.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The side effects of sedation dentistry are temporary that don’t affect your overall health. Common side effects are fogginess of operation, headache, dry mouth, and drowsiness, and they wear off within a few hours.
Yes, you will be able to move around like normal. The effects of sedation dentistry will wear off after several minutes to a few hours, depending upon the sedation type. But it’s recommended to have complete rest for at least 24 hours after the surgery.
Yes, there are some useful methods that you can use to make dental work more comfortable such as:
- Bring along someone for support at your dental appointments
- Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation
- Listen to soothing music
- Communicate with your dentist