Some patients tend to shy away from regular dental visits or cosmetic treatments because of fear and apprehension. Even though dentistry has undergone a number of amazing developments when it comes to the comfort of patients, it is still important for everyone to feel comfortable from the moment that they step into our office. This is why many now opt for sedation dentistry in order to overcome their anxiety and allow them to receive the dental treatments they need for a bright, straight, and healthy smile.
The Importance of Regular Dental Visits
For those that are apprehensive about regular checkups and treatments, it is all too easy to go for months or even years without making an appointment. Without biannual visits to the dentist, however, patients will drastically increase their risk of developing problems ranging from periodontal disease to tooth decay. These individuals will also not have access to some of the amazing cosmetic treatments that can help them create and maintain a dazzling and straight smile.
The Need for Sedation
The type of sedation that will be needed changes between patients. It is usually determined by the treatment that they will be undergoing and their level of anxiety. In some instances, sedation dentistry will be used purely to help the patient relax just before and during their treatment. For more comprehensive treatments, Dr. Jamie Sands may suggest the use of stronger sedatives that will numb the mouth or put the patient completely to sleep.
Nitrous Oxide and Oral Sedation
Both nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oral sedation (pills) are used to help patients relax during their treatment. While these two options can provide minor pain-relief, they are ideal for those with mild to moderate anxiety. Nitrous oxide is administered through a mask and wears off within a short period of time. More nitrous oxide can be administered throughout the treatment as needed. Pills, on the other hand, are generally taken well before the appointment and will allow the patient to relax and comply with the dentist’s instructions.
IV Sedation and General Anesthesia
IV sedation and general anesthesia are much more powerful sedation dentistry options and generally are reserved for longer surgeries and those with severe anxiety. IV sedation is administered through a needle and the patient will remain awake throughout the treatment. The major benefit of IV sedation is the fact that patients can respond to some or all of the dentist’s instructions, but they will not remember anything after the treatment. General anesthesia is referred to as deep sedation and will render the patient completely unconscious. This type of sedation can be used for emergency surgeries and options such as dental implants.
If you have anxiety about cosmetic dental treatments, you are not alone. At Jamie Elizabeth Sands, D.D.S., we provide sedation dentistry options so you feel comfortable and relaxed. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.