Don't Avoid Dental Work Because Of Dental Anxiety: Find A Dentist Specializing In Sedation Dentistry
Do you have a fear of going to the dentist? Whether you find dental procedures uncomfortable or you have had bad experiences with a dentist in the past, sedation dentistry allows you to reduce your dental anxiety significantly. Intravenous drugs are administered to place you in a state of moderate sedation, where you are still awake and conscious but have no anxiety about the procedure the dentist is performing. If you've been delaying dental work because of your fear of the dentist, here's how sedation dentistry can help.
Powerful Anti-Anxiety Drugs Are Used to Eliminate Dental Anxiety
To rapidly bring you to a level of moderate sedation, your dentist will intravenously administer a fast-acting benzodiazepine. These drugs are used to rapidly sedate patients and eliminate anxiety while keeping them awake and conscious. This allows you to communicate with your dentist, open or close your mouth and move your head to help your dentist perform the procedure. If you suffer from dental anxiety or a dental phobia, this makes sedation dentistry an excellent choice.
The sedative drugs are combined with a local anesthetic that entirely numbs your mouth, so you don't have to worry about feeling pain during sedation dentistry. If you have a fear of needles, a numbing gel may be applied to the IV insertion site as well so that you don't feel the prick of the IV line being inserted into the back of your hand.
Acute Amnesia From the Benzodiazepines Makes The Procedure Go By Quickly
Large doses of benzodiazepines often cause acute amnesia. You may only remember bits and pieces of the procedure or may forget the procedure entirely. The amnesia affects your perception of the procedure as it is happening — time will seem to go by very quickly, and you will feel as if your whole visit took only minutes. This makes sedation dentistry very useful for lengthy dental procedures, as you won't feel like you've had to sit in the dentist's chair for hours.
Dental Sedation Is a Safer Option Than General Anesthesia
Although sedation dentistry is sometimes referred to as sleep dentistry — since patients often feel as if they're waking up from a deep sleep at the end of the procedure — you are awake and conscious the entire time. This makes it a safer option than general anesthesia, as your automatic reflexes such as breathing are not stopped during sedation dentistry. There's no need for intubation or risk of overdose. Since general anesthesia requires a trained dental anesthesiologist to be present at the procedure to monitor your vital signs, it's also a more expensive option than sedation dentistry.
Your blood oxygen level and blood pressure will constantly be monitored throughout your dental procedure. If either become too low, the dentist will administer a drug (such as flumazenil, which counteracts the effects of benzodiazepines) to rapidly end the sedation. Since your sedation can be ended at any time, this makes complications from sedation dentistry very rare.
Performing sedation dentistry requires special certification and training, so not all dentists will offer it. If you have a fear of the dentist and are avoiding having dental work done, find a dentist that specializes in sedation dentistry — it's a safe option that allows you to improve your dental health and beautify your smile without fear.