If you’re afraid to go to the dentist, you’re in good company. Some 9-20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety. That’s around 40-70 million people. You might fear pain, or maybe you don’t like injections. It could be you don’t like giving up control, or maybe you’re embarrassed because of the condition of your teeth.
Whatever the reason for your fear, not going to the dentist can have serious consequences for your health. Dental problems have been linked to diabetes, heart disease, asthma, kidney disease, and even cancer. In fact, more than 120 conditions have been associated with poor dental health.
At Dental Art of South Bay, we offer sedation dentistry to help you have a comfortable dental experience so you don’t avoid taking care of your teeth. We work with you to make sure we alleviate your anxiety, but there are a few things you need to know about how we accomplish this safely.
Types of sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry is not, as it is often called, sleep dentistry. That’s why it’s also called conscious sedation. You remain conscious while we talk to you throughout the procedure. The drugs we use to provide sedation dentistry are safe, and we ensure that you don’t lose consciousness. There are several types of sedation that we use at Dental Art of South Bay.
This is a less invasive method of administering sedation. It involves liquid or pills that allow you to enter a state of total relaxation without losing consciousness. Many of the drugs that we use for oral sedation do not have an analgesic — or pain killing — effect, so if that is the case, we may need to give you an injection of a local anesthesia to prevent any pain.
This is also a non-invasive method that involves breathing in some type of gas. The most common gas that you have probably heard of is nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas. The gases do have analgesic effects, and because you inhale them, they also leave your body relatively quickly, resulting in a rapid recovery.
Intravenous sedation is a more invasive method of sedation in which we inject sedatives directly into your bloodstream. This gives the deepest level of sedation, again, without losing consciousness. It also takes effect more rapidly than the other methods of sedation.
Which type of dental sedation is right for you?
The type of medications and the delivery method that is right for you depends on your individual concerns and your biology. You should let us know if you have any allergies to drugs or whether you have had any side effects from sedatives in the past so that we can choose the appropriate and safe sedation method for your situation.
Why choose sedation dentistry?
Aside from reducing or even eliminating your anxiety, sedation dentistry might be right for you if you have any of the following:
- Overly sensitive teeth
- Dental complications that may involve more invasive treatment
- Resistance to the ordinary methods for numbing
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder that prevents you from opening your mouth for extended periods of time
- A history of traumatic dental experiences in the past
So don’t risk your health by avoiding the dentist because of anxiety or fear. Sedation dentistry may be just what the dentist ordered.
Contact our office today to make an appointment and find out if sedation dentistry is right for you.