April 18, 2024

All About Sedation Dentistry: Coping With Dental Fear And Anxiety

For most people, the thought of visiting a dentist can be daunting, let alone getting dental treatments! Many choose to endure pain and discomfort rather than visit a dentist. However, neglecting dental care can negatively impact your oral health and cause more damage.

The dentist in Fresno and their team offer compassionate and comprehensive care to those suffering from dental fear and anxiety with the help of sedation! To know more about sedation dentistry, read on!

Exploring sedation dentistry 

Sedation dentistry is a specialized branch that relieves stress and pain during dental procedures through medications. It helps you stay calm and relaxed so that the dentist can easily perform dental treatments. It is also called conscious sedation or “twilight sleep” since technically you will be awake, but in a relaxed state feeling carefree. It creates short-term amnesia (forgetfulness) where you will experience insensitivity to pain without the loss of consciousness.  

Different levels of sedation include the following:

  • Minimal sedation: You will be awake but in a relaxed state
  • Moderate sedation: You will be awake, but sedated and will not remember much about the procedure.
  • Deep sedation: You would be on the edge of consciousness, but can be awakened in between.
  • General anesthesia: You will be completely unconscious

How does sedation dentistry help?

Sedation dentistry helps you cope with the following: 

  • Dental Anxiety
  • A fear of visiting the dentist
  • Increased gag reflex
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity
  • Feeling of claustrophobia 
  • Decreased sensitivity to local anesthesia
  • Difficulty controlling movements
  • Special needs (behavioral, cognitive, or physical)

What are the types of sedation dentistry?

Dentists use several types of sedation, which are compiled below: 

  • Nitrous oxide: This is commonly known as laughing gas, which is inhaled through a mask. It leads to calming effects within 3 to 5 minutes of inhalation. Your dentist administers pure oxygen after completing the procedure. This flushes out the nitrous oxide.
  • Oral conscious sedation:  Sedative pills are taken orally about an hour before the procedure. This makes you groggy while the dentist completes the procedure. The recovery may not be as quick as nitrous oxide sedation.
  • Intravenous (IV) sedation: This is the deepest form of sedation where the medication is administered directly into your bloodstream through an intravenous infusion. You may fall asleep and have little to no memory of the treatment when you wake up. 

Dental fear and anxiety are real and can be extremely distressing. but they should not be the cause of avoiding dental visits. You deserve to receive quality dental care. And sedation dentistry can help you cope with the fear.

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