Fear of dental procedures is all too common. First, it is important to discuss your fear with your dentist. He or she will explain the procedure in detail, allow you to ask questions and offer options that can help calm you during the procedure. Talking through the details will help take some of the mystery out of a procedure and allow you to relax a little more.
In addition to that important communication, your dentist might offer the follow options to reduce anxiety:
Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is administered using a mask placed over the nose and mouth. As you inhale, the nitrous oxide offers light sedation to help you relax. You will be awake and aware, but it can help take the edge off your anxiety. In addition, the gas wears off quickly after your procedure.
Your dentist might offer sedation in pill form, and the effects of this option vary depending on the dose and type of medication used. In general, these pills offer light to moderate sedation, and you will still be awake and aware during your procedure. These medications can take longer to wear off, so you should have a friend or family member drive you home.
Talk to your dentist about the other sedation options available to you. For some procedures, it might make sense to choose a stronger sedative, and your dentist can talk to you about the best option for you.
Sedation for dental procedures does not take the place of local anesthesia, which is used to control pain. For example, your dentist will still administer a shot of anesthesia prior to a filling to numb the nerve while he or she drills. Sedation simply helps you relax and breathe a bit easier during the process.
Do not put off important dental care because of fear. Modern dentistry offers a number of options to help you manage that fear and get the safe, quality care you need. Healthy teeth are a crucial part of your overall health, and you owe it to yourself to maintain a healthy smile.
If you would like to learn more about the sedation options available to you during your dental visit, contact us today.