How Oral Sedation Dentistry Can Ease Dental Anxiety
Regular dental visits can cause individuals extreme stress, anxiety, and discomfort. These emotions can become so severe that many individuals put their own oral health on the line and avoid the dentist altogether. Oral sedation dentistry is the key to help lessen these feelings and make patients feel more comfortable while sitting in the dental chair.
What is Oral Sedation?
Oral sedation is when patients are given medications to reduce the anxiety and stress they feel during their dental checkup or certain dental procedures. Patients can take varying levels of doses, which affect their level of consciousness. During small doses, most patients are relaxed and comfortable. They are also awake and can respond to many of the directions and instructions provided by the dentist and dental staff. Higher doses can also be given, which can lessen the patient’s consciousness, although they are still fully awake and aware of their surroundings.
Who Needs Sedation Dentistry?
Oral sedation is ideal for individuals who suffer from extreme anxiety and stress when at the dentist. This allows them to feel comfortable and relaxed during their procedures. This also prevents twitching and moving of the head, which not only makes the dentist’s job more difficult, but it can cause additional damage inside the mouth.
However, patients who experience these stressful and scared feelings aren’t the only ones who should consider oral sedation dentistry. Patients with low pain tolerance and who have difficulty with local anesthetic can also benefit from sedation. Some patients may also experience strong gag reflexes, making dental work challenging, and oral sedation can help address the issue.
Are There Side Effects of Sedation Dentistry?
Oral sedation dentistry is safe, but there are some side effects. The most common is feeling drowsy shortly after the treatment. This feeling will wear off throughout the day. After taking the medication, it is required that another individual drive you home following your appointment. Other common, yet minor, side effects include a mild headache and dry mouth, as well as an amnesic effect of the time when the medication was at its strongest.
If you have severe medical conditions such as sleep apnea, heart conditions, or are taking other medications, it is vital that you inform your dentist prior to taking any sedatives. These conditions and medications can react and cause severe complications.
If you are nervous or anxious about your upcoming dentist appointment, don’t worry. Oral sedation dentistry can be the tool you need to feel calm and comfortable during your exams or when completing extensive dental work. Talk to your dentist to determine if you are eligible and to learn if sedation is the right choice for you.