Reducing Patient Anxiety through Sedation Dentistry

If the thought of going to the dentist gives you the chills, you’re not alone. Studies have found that 75% of all American adults experience anxiety or fear associated with the dentist. While it is true that going to the dentist could mean you’re about to experience some pain or discomfort, you should keep in mind that there are measures you can take to alleviate both your pain and anxiety, and make your dental visit as comfortable as possible.

One of those measures is sedation dentistry. Through sedation dentistry, you can have your anxiety and discomfort greatly reduced in a safe and secure manner so that your routine dental work doesn’t have to be a complete nightmare.

If you’re curious about using sedation dentistry to reduce your dental anxiety, read on for all you need to know.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is when dental work is performed with the help of sedatives that work to ease anxiety, pain, and fear in the patient. Sedatives administered in sedation dentistry are known as “conscious sedatives” which means that they work without having to knock the patient unconscious.

Conscious Sedatives Used in Sedation Dentistry 

There are three ways in which sedatives can be administered in sedation dentistry. Sedatives can be taken orally, inhaled, or administered intravenously. Your dentist will help you determine which is the best sedative solution for you prior to your procedure.

Oral Sedatives

Your dentist may prescribe a sedative pill to be taken orally either the night before or a few hours prior to the procedure. One of the most common forms of oral sedative are benzodiazepines, or anti-anxiety medications, such as lorazepam, diazepam, and triazolam. Other oral sedatives, such as Ambien, may also be prescribed.

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a sedative gas that is inhaled by the patient prior to the procedure. Effects of laughing gas occur almost instantaneously and wear off almost entirely after a few minutes of pure oxygen intake following the procedure.  

Intravenous Sedatives

Patients requiring a deeper level of sedation than the previous two methods can offer might opt for IV sedation. IV sedation goes directly into the patient’s bloodstream, drastically reducing their anxiety and fear response. This type of sedation is most common in oral surgeries. Benzodiazepines are often used in IV sedation, but other drugs such as ketamine and Propofol can also be administered.

How Sedation Dentistry Can Alleviate Patient Anxiety

Sure, sedation dentistry is mostly effective because of its use of calming drugs; anything that works to relax your central nervous system is going to be effective in reducing anxiety. However, that’s not the only reason why sedation dentistry can help to calm a patient’s fears.

Choosing to use sedation dentistry puts a bit of power back in the patient’s hands because it gives them options. With the ability to pick how your sedative is administered, you’re able to take some control of your situation and get your dental work done without having to be full of fear and anxiety before, during, and maybe even after the procedure.

Want to Know More About Sedation Dentistry? 

If you’re curious about how sedation dentistry can ease your fear of having dental work done, contact Beach City Dental today and we’ll be glad to answer all of your questions!

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