Do you have dental phobia, the fear of the dentist or dental procedures? Those who have it experience a feeling of intense dread, fear, or uneasiness when thinking about visiting the dentist. This fear can cause patients to avoid going to the dentist, even if they’re experiencing dental pain or have broken a tooth.

If you’re feeling anxious about your dental procedure, your dentist may recommend sedation dentistry. There are various levels of sedation that range from mild to deep. The level of sedation that’s best for you will be determined by your dentist.

Sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of medication that induces a state of relaxation during a dental procedure. During your procedure, you will be conscious and able to respond to requests from your dentist but will be deeply relaxed and at ease. Sedation dentistry helps patients who suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia receive the dental work they require for a healthy smile.

Who can benefit from sedation dentistry?

Many people suffer from dental phobia or have anxiety about visiting the dentist. If you experience anxiety or fear about visiting the dentist or suffer from certain conditions, then sedation dentistry might be right for you. Sedation dentistry can benefit you,

  • If you have dental anxiety or phobia
  • If you have to undergo long procedures
  • If you have a sensitive gag reflex
  • If you can’t sit still for long
  • If you have a hard time getting or staying numb from anesthetics

Types of sedation dentistry

The most common forms of sedation dentistry include:

  • Oral sedation

Oral sedation is the most common form of dental sedation. It involves medication that’s taken prior to a dental appointment. Usually, the oral sedative is given about an hour before the procedure. It will make you drowsy, but you’ll still be able to respond to questions during the procedure. You can drive yourself home after the procedure.

  • Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a mild sedative. It is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose. Nitrous oxide is administered throughout the entire procedure.

This form of sedation dentistry is ideal for patients who need a lot of dental work or who find dental work anxiety-producing. Laughing gas works quickly relaxes patients and generally calms them down. You may feel light-headed, tingly, or euphoric. The effects of nitrous oxide wear off quickly as your body processes it.

  • IV sedation

IV sedation is called “twilight” sedation. It is usually reserved for longer procedures.

With IV sedation, the dentist administers medication through an IV drip. The medication relaxes the patient and induces a state of deep relaxation. The patient may not be completely unconscious, but they will feel extremely relaxed.

  • General anesthesia

General anesthesia is a controlled state of unconsciousness. This is often called “sleep” dentistry. With general anesthesia, the patient is completely unconscious. The dentist can work on a patient’s teeth and gums while the patient is asleep.

Is sedation dentistry right for me?

If you experience fear or anxiety regarding your dental appointments, sedation dentistry may be right for you. Dental anxiety and phobia are more common than you think. Roughly 75% of patients experience some level of dental anxiety. This fear can cause patients to delay necessary dental treatments. Sedation dentistry allows patients to relax during their procedures.

At El Camino Dental Arts, we offer the best sedation dentistry options to help people with anxiety and dental phobia. For all your dental health needs in Vista, CA, schedule an appointment by calling us at (760) 433-9255. For any queries, you can visit us at 1938 Via Centre Ste A, Vista, CA 92081. 

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